Stakeholders in Rivers State have commended the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike for releasing N16.6 billion for the upgrade of facilities at the Rivers State University in Port Harcourt.
Guests of Viewpoint, a Saturday Rhythm 93.7 FM radio phone in programme in Port Harcourt, made the commendation during the programme on Saturday, (13/2/2021).
Speaking as a guest at the programme, a Professor of econometrics, University of Port Harcourt, Professor Oke Onuchukwu described the development as a timely intervention to expand the tertiary education sector and improve the rural economy of the State.
The renowned economist called the people of the State to jettison political sentiments and support Governor Wike and his team so that the basic objective of transforming the rural communities would be achieved through decentralisation of the Rivers State University.
Professor Onuchukwu, a former director of the Business School of the University of Port Harcourt, said the decentralisation will not only enhance rapid socioeconomic development of the three local Government areas but would also make tertiary education more accessible to the people of the State.
The university don who was part of the the team that drew up the developmental blueprint of the New Rivers Vision of Governor Wike said “The Rivers State University is a very critical area Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike had in mind earlier before he came into Government, that look, ‘I am going to intervene in this University by ensuring that the campuses are decentralised and build a world standard medical college.’ That has been there. Wike didn’t just jump into governance, he had a well prepared blueprint of how he is going to develop the various sectors of the State.”
He described the move to establish a standard medical college at the university as one of the best things that could happen to Rivers State as it would address the dearth of medical doctors in the health sector of the State in the nearest future.
He said there was nothing wrong in the Governor’s award of scholarship to students of the Pamo medical university who are indigenes of the State, saying that it will encourage the graduation of more medical doctors to complement the personnel requirements of hospitals in the State.
He dismissed ethnic colouration in the development agenda of the Governor Wike’s administration, “in the first place, we should commend the effort of the Rivers State Government and try to play down on this ethnic colouration.”
“And one thing I will say here is Government has done this much in this present situation. Some other governments will continue and provide. There is no way Government can address all the issues bothering on development at a time and at a go,” he said.
Speaking in second segment of the radio programme, Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Coalition of PDP Support Group of Nigeria, Rivers State Chapter, Hon. Edwin Ibanichika and Arch. Meme Samuel, respectively, described Governor Wike as a detribalised leader who has taken into consideration the equality, service and justice in the execution of his administration’s developmental agenda.
They maintained that although the Wike’s administration has ensured spread of developmental projects to all the 23 local Government areas of the State, there is no way the government or any other can ignore the need for urban renewal programmes since 90 percent of Rivers people improve their economic wellbeing in Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor local government areas that constitute the capital of the State.
“For access to economic wellbeing, for businesses to thrive, for comfort, every responsible government would want to open up the urban centres so that the inflow of people from the rural areas and those coming from outside the State with their goods, their services would have a pot everybody can come and feed from and that is what the government is doing. I can assure you, it is Wike today, tomorrow there might be another governor and let me tell you, every governor that sits at the Brick House will always embark on urban renewal and in so doing cannot in Rivers State without talking about Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor, ” Samuel said.
Samuel however defended the State Government on the issue of decentralisation of projects. “You will be unfair to Governor Wike when you constantly miniaturise the New Rivers Vision by saying that development is concentrated in Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor and a lot is happening across the 23 local Government areas of Rivers State. For example, the expansion of the Rivers State University campuses to three local governments areas on its own has ripple effects socially, economically and even security because insecurity thrives when focus of government is not there.”
Buttressing their claims with a list of 106 projects executed by the Wike’s administration in the 23 local government areas, he said, “now, for us in the next 20 to 30 years, if there is a continuity of programme by a succeeding government you will see that in the next 10 years, Emohua, Ahoada and Etche will open up because there will be careful , deliberate implementation of policies from the school projects.”
Recall that the State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulnus Nsirim, on Wednesday (10/0212021), announced that the State Government has released N16.6 billion for the upgrade of facilities at the Rivers State University.
Out of amount N7.6 billion is for the proper establishment of the College of Medical Sciences of the university while N3 billion each will go to the three campuses of the university to be established at Emohua, Ahoada and Etche local government areas, Nsirim said.
SA (Media) to the Honourable Commissioner for Information and Communications, Rivers State.