Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike has offered James Daniel, a student of the Rivers State University, living with disability, with N50 million and automatic appointment as a university lecturer after he bagged a Doctor of Philosophy, Ph.D degree.
Wike made this known on Saturday during the university’s 33rd convocation in Port Harcourt, the state capital.
According to the governor, the honour bestowed on Daniel is in recognition of his academic excellence and for being a source of inspiration to persons living with disabilities.
Delivering his speech, Wike also directed the Governing Councils and managements of state universities to sanitize their internal academic systems by stopping every inappropriate policy, practice or procedure that compromises the high quality academic standards required of tertiary institutions.
The governor, however, cautioned all Rivers State-owned universities to stop indiscriminate conferment of doctoral degrees on all manner of questionable candidates and people of material influence.
He emphasised that serious universities jealously guard their reputation and award doctoral degrees only to students who have gone through years of rigorous intellectual research and interrogation and whose dissertation is independently adjudged to be sound and contributory to new learning.
He described as unfortunate, the current trend and practice in universities, including the Rivers State University, to award doctoral degrees indiscriminately, like chieftaincy titles, to all manner of questionable candidates.
“First of all, the programmes that you offer must equip the students with relevant skills, entrepreneurial or otherwise, so that on graduation they can start their own businesses and professional practice and become creators of jobs from the beginning; and not jobless seekers for elusive jobs,” Wike stated.
The governor assured that the infrastructural development in the university started by his administration, including the four new campuses at Ahoada, Emohua, Ebara and Sakpenwa, will be completed by the second quarter of 2022.
The RSU Vice Chancellor, Prof. Nlerum Okogbule, in his remarks, expressed gratitude to Governor Wike for his enormous support to the institution.