Bayelsa State Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson on Thursday, 16th November, recorded another historic feat in the education sector as the University of Africa graduated 312 foundation students.
The Governor, who is the visitor to the institution, also announced plans to expand its scholarship programme to accommodate 1,000 outstanding graduands of the School of Foundation Studies of the University by next academic session.
Governor Seriake Dickson has, therefore, directed the State Ministry of Education to conduct another round of competitive assessment of potential beneficiaries by the end of this month, as the Government continues to invest massively in the development of the state’s manpower base.
He gave the directive at the first graduation ceremony of the Foundation Studies of the institution at Bolou Orua, in Sagbama Local Government Area of the state.
Describing the graduating students as the future of the nation, he noted that, it was a further demonstration of his administration’s desire to create champions in various fields of study and charged the management of the University of Africa to be more innovative by formulating self-sustaining financial policies.
Governor Dickson underscored the need for the management of the University of Africa to shop for qualified scholars from around the world to boost the profile of the institution.
His words: “By January, 2017, when you will be starting your full degree programmes, I want to see an array of scholars around the world; that is why our university is unique.”
The Bayelsa State Governor stated that, his administration is spending N6 billion annually to service the recurrent expenditure of the Niger Delta University, stressing that, the situation is no longer sustainable.
“This university has to do big time agriculture; you have to generate your own revenues and I have directed all institutions and I am happy you have talked about it concerning establishment of university farms limited, consultancy services because that is what you exist for, research and innovation.”
Governor Dickson called on parents and guardians to educate their children and wards, emphasizing that, there is no investment greater than developing them educationally rather than investing in mundane things.
Earlier in his convocation address, the Acting Vice Chancellor, Prof. Valentine Aleto, had commended Governor Dickson and his team for the landmark achievements in the education sector, especially on the establishment of the University of Africa, Toru Orua.
He attributed the development to the vision and passion the Governor has for the sector, pointing out that, it would improve the rating of the state as well as bring it at par with other developing states.
Prof Aleto said, the major selling point of the institution is to provide students with identical educational opportunities and exposures as obtainable in places like, the United States, United Kingdom and Canada, but at a fraction of that cost