fter condemning the indiscriminate award of doctoral degrees, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has himself received an honorary doctorate degree of science.
TheNewsGuru.com (TNG) reports Governor Wike was conferred with the doctorate degree of science by Pamo University of Medical Sciences (PUMS).
Former Head of State, Abdulsalami Abubakar, who is Chancellor and Chairman, Board of Trustees of PUMS, decorated Wike with the D.Sc Honoris Causa.
The convocation, which was held on Saturday 18th of December 2021 in Port Harcourt, capital of the State, attracted dignitaries from all walks of life.
It was the first convocation ceremony of PUMS, Nigeria’s first indigenous private medical university, which Wike had announced a N500 million grant for.
General Abubakar himself also bagged an honorary doctorate degree, Doctor of Letters (D.Litt.) Honoris Causa during the convocation ceremony of the institution that was founded by Peter Odili, a former Governor of the State.
According to PUMS, the awardees were recognised for their distinct contributions to the development, peace, democracy and general good of Nigeria.
TNG reports 21 students graduated from the Department of Anatomy, Biochemistry, Pharmacology and Physiology, all of which according to the Vice Chancellor of PUMS, Professor Michael F. E. Diejomaoh had been fully accredited.
General Abubakar in his remarks commended Governor Wike’s administration for offering scholarship to students of Rivers extraction studying in PUMS.
According to him, the governor’s unrivalled contribution to the development of the University will forever be in the annals of her history.
The former Head of State noted that the success of PUMS is a demonstration of what can be achieved when State Governments come in to support the provision of private education in their respective states.
He urged the Federal Government to extend similar support to private universities through the Tertiary Education Trust Fund and other agencies of government through the various initiatives currently being enjoyed only by public institutions.
In his acceptance speech, Governor Wike said the government and people of Rivers state are delighted with the establishment of PUMS, and the vast opportunities it has availed youths in the State to become highly educated and skillful medical professionals and practitioners.
He said the state government has maintained and sustained a close, symbiotic and mutually beneficial relationship with the University from its inception to date, by identifying with and contributing materially to its steady growth and progress.
“Back in 2017, we instituted a special public scholarship, covering tuition, accommodation and feeding to encourage our indigenous students to take advantage of the University and become graduates and professionals of their areas of interest.
“We have religiously implemented this scholarship programme for four consecutive years with almost 600 beneficiaries as at the last academic session.
“Today, I am very pleased to note that all the graduating students of Rivers State origin are scholars of the Rivers State Government educated and trained with public funds.
“In addition to the scholarship, which now costs well over 2.9 billions of Naira to implement annually, we have also made several generous financial donations towards the infrastructural development of the University,” Wike said.
He commended Odili for establishing the first and only private medical university in the entire South-South geo-political region of Nigeria.
The Governor, who attributed his success in life to his faith in God and education, said his political life, just like that of Odili, has been a lesson in devotion, hard work and passion for success and service.
Wike announced a postgraduate scholarship to the overall best graduating student and N5 million reward for each of the best departmental graduating students.
The Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, Professor Abubakar Adamu Rasheed, who delivered the convocation lecture, said private universities have continued to play a vital role in the national development of Nigeria.
He said PUMS is currently the 19th best private university, and 35th best out of 200 universities in the country.
In his remarks, Odili, who is the Pro- Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council of the university, said the management of the institution remain unapologetically committed to total compliance to the rules and sanctions for any breaches by staff and students.
He lauded Governor Wike for offering scholarship to over 600 Rivers State students to study medicine and allied medical courses in PAMO University.
Meanwhile, it could be recalled that Wike had previously cautioned varsities to stop indiscriminate conferment of doctoral degrees.
He stated this during the 33rd Convocation of the Rivers State University, Port Harcourt this December.