The executive governor of Rivers State, Gov. Nyesom Wike was at the Rivers state University of Technology, for its 28th convocation ceremony on Saturday 9th April, 2016.
To mark the occasion the executive governor was present to co misoon some facilities as well as a ground breaking ceremony and inspection of facilities in campus.
Below is the excerpt from His address:
ADDRESS BY THE GOVERNOR OF RIVERS STATE AND VISITOR TO THE UNIVERSITY, HIS EXCELLENCY, EZENWO NYESOM WIKE, CON ON THE OCCASION OF THE 28TH CONVOCATION CEREMONY OF THE RIVERS STATE UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOLGY, PORT HARCOURT HELD ON SATURDAY, 9TH APRIL, 2016
It is my pleasure to join the University management to welcome you to the 28th Convocation Ceremony of the Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Nkpolu-Oroworukwo, Port Harcourt.
2. First of all, let me congratulate all the graduands for successfully completing your studies, and profoundly appreciate those that made first-class for your marvelous achievements.
3. I wish to also thank the parents, guardians, uncles, and every other person who have one way or the other supported these young people to make it through the rough times that come with university education.
4. However, I want to say to you today that, despite having achieved a remarkable milestone, your journey through life has just begun. Therefore, you must not rest on your laurels. With a degree from this outstanding institution you’ve got everything you need to get started, to be productive and be the best that you can.
5. The African continent needs people like you; Nigeria needs people like you and Rivers State fervently needs people like you to step up. We need your Knowledge, your skills, your talents, your imagination, your energy and your creativity to make a difference in our communities, to bring about the real change that we all want to see, and to make the difference in the lives of those that are less fortunate than you.
6. Whatever is your area of study, you can make your mark in different ways. You’ve got no excuses. You only need to know what you want and take action. This is the time to dream big dreams about your future but do not waste your limited time living someone else’s dream. Take control of your life and pursue your passions.
7. We all know that the nation’s economy is bad and the times are very hard. And so, it may be quite challenging getting gainfully employed or even starting your own businesses. But don’t be discouraged. Tough times are always temporary even as they also present windows of opportunities. Moments like this dictate that you try and work harder to discover your path to success. For, unless you try, you will never know what you are capable of achieving. Remember, fortunes tend to favour mostly those who dare.
8. As a Government, be assured that we shall continue to create ample opportunities for you to find the jobs you need or strive to realize your immediate and future goals.
9. At this juncture, let me also congratulate the staff and management of the University for successfully graduating another set of students. This is yet, another testimony that this University is fulfilling the vision of the founding fathers.
10. I am also happy with the peace that has prevailed since I directed the immediate reinstatement of the lecturers that were unjustly disengaged for participating in a legitimate strike action on my first day in office.
11. I wish to reaffirm that we will continue to uphold the constitutional rights of workers to freely join and participate in union activities in as much as such actions are not politically motivated or subversive of public interest. In particular, it is high time we restore and sustain stability in the university system. Thus, I urge staff unions to find humane ways of resolving inevitable disputes with management other than taking the interest of students as hostage for securing your demands.
12. Although I am pleased with the steady progress of the University, It is unacceptable for any of its programmes to be denied accreditation. Accordingly, I hereby direct the Ag. Vice Chancellor to correct the deficiencies outlined by the Nigerian Universities Commission and ensure that the Law programme and, indeed, all other programmes, move from interim to full accreditation status without any delay.
13. Furthermore, the recent increase in cultism and associated violence by some misguided youth in parts of the State is most troubling and intolerable. The violence and murder they sporadically unleash on innocent citizens is making the State to appear unsafe for investors and visitors alike. Undeniably, most of these cult groups operating in our communities are offshoots from University campuses. All stakeholders must join forces therefore, to stamp out this menace from the State at all cost.
14. Accordingly, while we shall step up our activities with security agencies to arrest and promptly prosecute any person that violates the State’s anti-cultism policy and law, I hereby direct Governing Councils of tertiary institutions to proscribe all cult and related groups if they have not done so already, and summarily dismiss and prosecute any student found to belong to such groups or participates in such devilish activities.
15. Parents and guardians must also take full responsibility for proper upbringing of their children by inculcating the right values in them so that they can grow to become responsible adults and nation builders, and not destroyers of life and our communities.
16. As the Governor of the State and Visitor to the University, I am quite familiar with your challenges. Let me assure you that the development of this University is in our priority list. This is evident in the projects we have delivered in the last ten months of this administration. For example: • we completed, furnished and commissioned the long abandoned Faculty of Law complex within the first 100 days of our administration; • we spent over seven hundred million naira to clear the remunerations that accrued to the reinstated lecturers for the three years they lived without salaries; • we are paying and will continue to pay staff salaries regularly in spite of the financial challenges the State is facing; • we have approved the reconstruction of the Faculties of Management Sciences and Environmental Sciences buildings, which were abandoned by the last administration; and • we have also commenced the construction of the College of Medical Sciences complex and released funds for the first batch of students to start academic activities this year.
17. Ladies and gentlemen, I want assure you that we shall not fail in our commitment to support the University to maintain and grow its facilities, attract and retain quality faculty, and provide a world-class educational experience for our students.
18. However, it is common knowledge that resources available to the government are shrinking by the day. Therefore, it is imperative for management to tap into alternative revenue sources and reduce the University’s over-dependence on government funding. There is also the need to ensure greater efficiency in the allocation and utilization of available funds.
19. I wish to commend the Governing Council under the Chairmanship of Hon. Justice Iche N. Ndu OFR, former Chief Judge of our State, for the good work you are doing to reposition the University for greater achievements.
20. Finally, as mark of honour for an exceptional career, outstanding achievements and a life well-lived in the service of Rivers State and the nation as former Attorney General of Nigeria as well as the first Senior Advocate of Nigeria, I hereby direct the renaming of the Faculty of Law Complex as Dr. Nabo Graham Douglas Faculty of Law Complex.
21. Once again, I say congratulations to all the granduands and their proud parents.
22. Thank you for your attention and may God bless Rivers State.