he Rivers State University which has been a one-campus institution since its establishment in October 1980, is on the path of becoming a multi-campus institution.
This development is sequel to the approval of the sum of N9billion recently by the state government as a take-off grant for the establishment of new campuses of the university at Ahoada, Emohua and Etche Local Government Areas of the state.
The state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Paulinus Nsiri, who disclosed this in Port Harcourt, said the state Governor, Nyesom Wike, approved a total of N16. 6billion for upgrading of facilities in the state-owned university.
explained that the intervention in education is to enhance development in the state-owned institution, which has maintained.
The education sector in Rivers State received a major boost Of The sum of N3b has been set aside for each of the new campuses for the construction of faculty buildings, hostels, offices, libraries, auditoriums, lecture halls and other needs required for the campuses to operate maximally.
About N7. 6b has also been earmarked for the establishment of the College of Medical Sciences, Faculties of Basic Medical Sciences, Clinical Sciences and Pathology Building at Rivers State University (RSU).
Besides, the state government has established a scholarship scheme for Rivers indigenes studying at PAMO University of Medical Sciences, meant to enable Rivers indigenes and other Nigerians access to medical education in the state.
With the establishment of three campuses in Emohua, Ahoada and Etche, Nsiri said the communities would be opened up for development and economic activities, which in turn, would reduce unemployment in the state. He explained that the fund to RSU College of Medical Sciences would not only enable the college to establish more faculties, but it will also fully commence its programme leading to the award of Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS).
This, according to the commissioner, would further strengthen accredited departments and those due for accreditation at the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital (RSUTH).
He added that the establishment of a scholarship scheme for Rivers indigenes studying at PAMO University of Medical Sciences, Port Harcourt, was already a key item in governor Wike’s second term inauguration speech, where he clearly noted that the state government had made significant progress in its efforts to train 500 indigenous medical students on full scholarship, with 200 students already enrolled at the time and progressing with their studies in the last two years alone.
“This new development will therefore not only assist to reduce the gaps in the doctor to patient ratio in the state, but there is great confidence and optimism that in the next few years, Rivers State will play a major role in producing medical manpower for the whole of Nigeria.
“Within the period, we have also funded healthcare delivery at great levels, restored our general hospitals and established Rivers State University Teaching Hospital to improve healthcare delivery in the state,” the commissioner added,
On his part, the state Commissioner for Health, Prof Princewill Chike, lauded the governor for the release of N16. 6b for the upgrade of facilities at RSU.
Chike noted that while the College of Medical Sciences can operate as a full-fledged college with all its required programmes, accreditation of departments and programmes would be easy to secure.
The state Commissioner for Education, Prof. Kaniye Ebeku, said the expansion would increase access to education significantly, admission spaces will be opened for more intakes while communities hosting the new campuses would enjoy increased commercial activities, employment and development.
According to him: “There is definitely no doubt that this intervention for the overall upgrade of facilities at RSU is good news, especially at a time when governance has been grounded in most parts of the country and the world, because of COVID-19 pandemic. “
He added: “The release of N16.6illion for the upgrade of RSU is another promise fulfilled by Governor Wike and with another two and half years to the end of his tenure, the governor has proven to all that he is a responsive politician.