YENAGOAâ€”Bayelsa State governor, Chief Timipre Sylva, has called on the Governing Council of the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) to increase the number of Bayelsa indigenes offered admission and employment by the institution.
Sylva stated this while receiving the Pro-Chancellor and members of the Governing Council of the university who paid him a courtesy visit at Government House, Yenagoa.
The governor, who attributed the speedy attainment of his University degree qualification to the existence of the institution, pledged his unalloyed support to the development of the school, pointing out that until the academia and government came into partnership,Â theÂ wheels of progress in the country would remain slow.
He said higher institutions in the country should be more involved in research and threw a challenge to the university to come up with discoveries on how to surmount the challenges of the terrain in the Niger Delta as well as maximize its potentials.
The governor expressed dismay that despite the abundant agricultural resources in the region, its people lacked knowledge in modern techniques of farming.
Chief Sylva stressed the need for enduring partnership between people in the various sectors of the economy, adding that development of the economy was the collective responsibility of all.
Governor Sylva noted that the state government has constructed link roads, completed abandoned projects and was set to construct a Central Business District in the state.
The governor expressed gratitude to the Governing Council for acknowledging the transformations that have taken place in the state, describing the visit as a memorable one.
Speaking earlier, the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council of the University of Port Harcourt, Sir Gabriel Toby, said the visit of the newly constituted Governing Council was to congratulate one of their own for changing the face of Bayelsa State positively.
According to him, â€œChief Sylva is doing a good job in the state and has not disappointed the university that helped to mould him.â€
However, the Pro chancellor, a former Deputy Governor of Rivers State, said there was still a lot to be done, not only in the state, but also in the Niger Delta as a whole.
He acknowledged the support of Sylvaâ€™s predecessor to the university, requesting that the incumbent governor, as a product of the university, should give back something to his Alma Mater.
The Pro-Chancellor, who described Chief Sylva as an ambassador of the university, solicited his help in the area of infrastructural development, noting that his occasional presence at the university would also be welcomed.
He stated that the governor owed the university a duty to help grow it, adding that on its own part, the Governing Council would extend its expertise to the state government in an advisory capacity as well as other areas it could offer assistance.