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Why we support private varsities in Rivers, by Wike

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Governor Nyesom Wike has reiterated that Rivers government would continue to support private initiatives to create access to university education in the state.

He stated this yesterday during the inaugural Founder’s Day of Pamo University of Medical Sciences at Elelenwo, Port Harcourt.

Wike said: “The university requires the support of every person. I have challenged every Rivers man and woman who has the capacity to establish a university to do so. Rivers State Government will support such a person.

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“This is the first private university in Rivers State. If government does not support it, who will? I owe no apologies to those who criticise our support for this private university.”

The governor lauded the institution established by former Governor Peter Odili for creating opportunities for Rivers children and other Nigerians to have access to medical education.

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“We have given our children scholarships for every academic session. Not less than 100 of them. They are Rivers children. Giving support means that you want the good of the people of Rivers State. If this university were not established, those of them who are lucky to study medicine and other related courses would have found it difficult. It is good that this university has been able to create access for our children to study medicine. For us as a government, we will not look back. We will continue to support this university,” he added.

Wike, who has a building named after him, announced that the state government would support the construction of two hostels in the institution.

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In his remarks, erstwhile Head of State and the institution’s Chancellor, General Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd), observed that the university, first of such for medical education exclusively in the country, was already growing rapidly.

He commended Wike for his contributions to the growth of the institution.

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The Niger State indigene also commended the National Universities Commission (NUC) for the role it had played in developing universities across the federation.

On his part, Bauchi State Governor Bala Mohammed commended Odili for his investment in education, especially setting up a university that would groom qualified medical professionals for the country.

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The Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige, endowed a prize for anatomy, biochemistry and physiology. He said the best student in the mentioned area would be rewarded handsomely.

The minister urged students of the university to emulate Odili, who he noted, had been hardworking and committed to serving humanity.

Odili, who is also the Pro-Chancellor of the school, Wike, adding that all students on Rivers State government’s scholarships were up to date in fee payment.

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He noted that establishing a private university was a service to the society, “because profits start after more than 10 years.”

The NUC Executive Secretary, Professor Abubakar Rasheed, said the commission was proud to be associated with the ivory tower for its achievements within the short period it has existed.

He urged compliance with extant regulatory requirements all times.

Also present at the event were Sokoto State Governor Aminu Tambuwal; his Oyo and Adamawa counterparts, Seyi Makinde and Umaru Fintiri; as well as members of the national and state assemblies.

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