Governor Siminalayi Fubara has promised to address the funding challenges confronting Rivers State University, Port Harcourt.
The governor specifically promised to release funds already approved for the running of the institution as well as other necessary financial support aimed at strengthening the capacity of the school to rank as one of the best in Nigeria.
Fubara made the promise at the 35th convocation ceremony of the Rivers State University, Nkpolu-Orworukwo in Port Harcourt on Saturday.
The governor said the promised support is borne out of the fact that education serves as the cornerstone for a firm, equitable and progressive society that is desired by Rivers State.
He stated, “Bear in mind that funding is a problem, not just to this university system, but also to governance.
“But as you all know, education is the cornerstone of a firm, equitable and progressive society.
“Therefore, we will continue to do our best to finance our university. Our commitment to make RSU one of the best in this country is a target and a process we have just started today.”
Fubara noted with delight the result-oriented approach adopted by the leadership of RSU to achieving the record of success being celebrated including securing full accreditation for all programmes in the institution despite the challenges.
He added, “Let me commend the VC for his innovation, and result-oriented approach to the administration of this university. Let me here promise this university community that the grant approved but not released will be released by Monday, 18th Dec., 2023.
“The essence of our commitment to education development is reflected in our 2024 budget where it received the third highest allocation.
“Let me, therefore, assure you that we will disburse a fair share of these resources to address the University’s most critical challenges, including support for the full and effective development of the new campuses, the provision of a stable power supply, the building of student hostels, and effective CCTV coverage to enhance safety and security in the campuses.”
Giving his address, Vice Chancellor, Prof Nlerum Okogbule said a total of 6,326 graduands were conferred with first degrees, postgraduate diplomas, Masters and Doctor of Philosophy.
Okgbule informed that all 24 programmes in the university have full accreditation, the admission quota for the medicine and surgery programme increased from 100 to 200 students, that of nursing and midwife also increased from 50 to 100 and all its four satellite campuses in good operation.
In his remark, the Chancellor of the University, Justice Sidi Bage Muhammad 1, who is also the Emir of Lafia Bare-Bari and Chairman of Nassarawa State Council of Chiefs demanded adequate funding of tertiary institutions to strengthen them to undertake research that addresses the development needs of Nigeria.