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Rivers University Of Science On A Steady Path Of Growth

The Rivers State Uni­versity of Science and Technology, Nkpolu-Oroworukwo, Port Har­court, was established in 1980 to cater for the man power needs of the state. It was envisioned as a world class University that will be structurally and philo­sophically oriented to solve the peculiar environmental challenges of the Niger Del­ta Region of Nigeria.
When Prof. Blessing Chimezie Didia took office as the acting Vice Chan­cellor of the University in August, 2015, many were in doubt as to what the fate of the University will be with him on the saddle. He did not wait for critics to settle before he began the implementation of a robust vision of building an en­trepreneurial University of reckon.
To underscore his vision, he visited the various facul­ties, Units, Institutes and Centres to access the level of work needed to be done and intimate the staff of the vision of his administra­tion. This culminated in the production of a policy doc­ument “Five year Strategic Development Plan” for the University covering years 2016-2020. The purpose of the policy document was to move the Univer­sity forward in a systematic manner with specific tasks, timelines and cost implica­tion for every developmen­tal purpose.
As acting Vice Chancel­lor, Prof Blessing Chimezie Didia succeeded in unit­ing the University and set the tone for her overall de­velopment, anchored by a highly motivated staff. He quickly sorted out pend­ing issues of staff welfare by suspending a controversial promotions guideline for which industrial Unions were not happy with and cleared backlog of promo­tions, some dating back to seven years. All Unions on campus were subsequently accorded their place of pride and integrated into the management of the University to forestall un­favourable industrial envi­ronment.
The news of his confir­mation as the 7th substan­tive Vice Chancellor of the University by the Governor of Rivers State and Visi­tor to the University, His Excellency, Barr Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, threw the University community into unprecedented celebration.
Today, the University has been put on a steady path of growth in all spheres. The University now have the best Faculty of Law build­ing in the entire West Af­rican sub-region, a brand new college of Medical Sci­ences with six faculties, a Department of Library and Information Science, Com­puter Science, a centre for Advancement and Linkag­es to bridge the town/gown relationship gap, Centre for Entrepreneurship Devel­opment, University Guest House, Sustainable Devel­opment Solutions Centre, Alumni Centre and func­tional Physical Planning Unit. All these are in ad­dition to the commence­ment of work on the once abandoned Faculties of Environmental Sciences and Management Sciences Building.
Also, there is the ongo­ing construction of a brand new building for the Facul­ty of Technical and Science Education and College of Medical Sciences.
The Vice Chancellor has also re-constructed the In­stitute of Pollution Studies Building, the Senior Staff Club and the University’s Viewing Centre. He also constructed and equipped the Computer Laboratory for Department of Com­puter science, a Language Laboratory for Mass Com­munication Department and Completed the Univer­sity’s shopping Complex. All of these, he did with the support of the Governor of Rivers State, Barr. Nyesom Wike,
He did not stop at erect­ing new buildings or fin­ishing ongoing ones, he also has created a very strong maintenance cul­ture in the University and rejuvenated ailing depart­ments. He bought vehicles for the University Library and Consultancy Services Unit. He also bought more Equipment for the Security Unit of the University to forestall the breakdown of law and order.
In an interview with the chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, RSUST Chapter, Dr. Suobere T. Puyate, he dis­closed that his Union sees the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Blessing Chimezie Didia, as a blessing to the Univer­sity and will work co-oper­atively with him to fulfil the dreams of the founding fa­thers of the University.
The story is same for the other staff Unions on Campus including the Stu­dents’ Union Government. The SUG in the University is now running with all the arms like the Students’ Representative Council and Students’ Judicial Council.
Some of the staff of the University who spoke with The AUTHOIRTY revealed that the Vice Chancellor has outlawed ‘delayed’ pro­motion.
The Vice Chancellor made it a practice for the various heads of depart­ments, Units, Institute and Centres to see to it that staff working under them were duly promoted or be sanctioned. Beyond pro­motions, the staff are con­stantly being sponsored to attend conferences and seminars to develop them­selves and boost their level of productivity.
The Vice Chancellor, through the help of the Governor, retrieved the University’s health centre which was initially built and contracted to the Inter­national Critical Care Cen­tre to run. The University can now boast of a robust health care facility to cater for staff and students. He also introduced a tertiary health insurance scheme to cater for the students while away from school.
The academic calendar of the University runs without a hitch. The students now know when to graduate according to the duration of their courses as there is no room for extension of study time except if the stu­dent refused to do the right thing.
Matriculations and Con­vocations now hold annu­ally and at Senate approved date. This is owing to the commitment of the Prof. Blessing Chimezie Didia led administration against delays in the administrative processes. The University’s robust Information and Communication Technolo­gy, ICT, centre ensures that timelines are kept through the deployment of a very robust protocol to handle all students’ registration and clearance processes.
The Post Graduate School of the University is not left behind in the de­velopment, as institution now graduate students at the right time. The delays associated with post gradu­ate studies have been to­tally eradicated by the Prof. Didia led administration. Instead, more programmes have been introduced into the school with efficient management in place.

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