Members of the Special Committee for the Bayelsa state-owned Niger Delta University (NDU) Amassoma headed by Prof. Stephen Odiowei has taken an on the spot assessment of the prospects and challenges of the institution.
Interacting with the management of the Niger Delta University, at the Vice Chancellor’s Conference Room, NDU, Prof. Odiowei said the visit has given the committee an insight into the potential of the institution, expressing government’s determination to reduce the financial burden of NDU on government.
He explained that the purpose of the visit was to critically examine the issues affecting the growth of the university as well as seek areas of collaboration with the NDU towards making it more commercially viable.
Prof Odiowei noted that the process of nurturing a tertiary institution to the level of academic excellence and self-sustenance could take more than a decade, noting that some sub-committees already constituted by the Special Committee would visit the university to make inputs, in line with their findings and come up with a holistic report, that will form part of the final document to be submitted to the Government.
In his remarks, the Vice Chancellor of the NDU, Prof. Humphrey Ogoni commended members of the committee for the visit, stressing that, the move has afforded them the opportunity to appreciate the problems and potentials of the institution, as well as the university’s drive at boosting its internally generated revenue.
He identified insecurity, encroachment, inadequate power supply, staff quarters and students’ accommodation, road network within the university community as some of the challenges bedeviling the NDU.
On efforts to generate funds for the NDU, Prof Ogoni said the university has been able to initiate some schemes which include, water treatment plant, soap making, double bunker beds, fish dryer, grading of the road linking the temporary to the permanent site.
The Vice Chancellor noted that the institution was yet to secure registration from the Nigerian Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), for the water project, expressed optimism that, when operational, it would meet the needs of the university and beyond.
In their separate observations, Dr. Godswill Ziriki, Special Adviser to the Governor on Tertiary Education, Prof Bio Awotua-Efebo, Prof Francis Sikoki, Chief Josephine Izonbodo-Torru and Senator John Brambaifa had stressed the need to provide centres of excellence, such as ICT, recreational facilities, staff quarters and hostel accommodation, upgrading of the facilities at the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital, Okolobiri and give the university’s environment a face-lift.