By Olubusuyi Adenipekun
Recently, members of Standing Committee on Private Universities Commission (NUC) paid a two-day working visit to the proposed Precious Cornerstone University, Ibadan for the purpose of assessing its readiness to take off. The fact-finding team was led by the Chairman of the committee, Prof. Jubrila Amin.
The facilities they found in place at the university, which is owned by the Sword of the Spirit Ministries actually impressed the visiting team and Prof. Amin himself specifically mentioned those giant strides already made by the proposed university.
According to him, the compound where the university is to take off is neat and tidy enough for learning, the buildings are adequate and appropriate and that the Health Centre is well cited to cater for the medical needs of the students, adding that all these underscore the fact that the promoters of the university are well organized.
He, however, offered suggestions for improvement which if implemented, in line with NUCâ€™s regulations, would make it possible for the proposed university to receive its licence in a couple of months from now.
In the last two and a half years, the proprietors of the Precious Cornerstone University have consistently been working very hard to scale the NUCâ€™s hurdle.
Following the proclamation of the university on November 11, 2006 byÂ its initiator, Bishop Francis Wale Oke, who is the Presiding Bishop of the Sword of the Spirit Ministries a Strategic Implementation Committee (SIC), chaired by Emeritus Professor of Physics, Olumuyiwa Awe was put in place.
Twelve teams, which were being coordinated by the SIC, were inaugurated. These teams are the University Law, Academic, Programmes, Administrative, Land Documentation, Infrastructure, Finance, Funds Generation, Multi Media, Spiritual Warfare, PCU Liaison, Website and the University Library.
The first interactive session with the NUCâ€™s Standing Committee took place in February 2007. The universityâ€™s Liaison Office was opened in Ibadan in May of that year while the two volumes of the Academic Brief and University Law were submitted to the NUC in September 2007.
Speaking on the rich human resources available to the proposed university, Wale Oke said: â€œWe have secured the commitment of very seasoned and experienced university scholars and administrators to help give the university a strong foundation at its take off.
We have also secured the commitment of leading universities in Nigeria, Europe, the United States of America and Canada for partnerships programmes in academic/curricular developments.â€
The promoters of the university are being motivated in working at a freneticÂ pace so as to put into practice the idea behind the establishment of the institution.
The philosophy of PCU is to produce original thinkers, employers of labour and students fully imbued with entrepreneurship orientation.
According to Bishop Oke, the university would take off next year once the NUC licence is issued. With the facilities in place, he explains, the university could smoothly take off with seven departments, 19 programmes and about 450 students, adding that the university would be strike and cult free.
PCU is an institution which many Nigerians eagerly await as a result of its plan to institutionalise students friendly andÂ high standard in its academic programmes.
For instance, plans are in place to design programmes in which creative ideas would be imparted and a programme is to be put in place which would facilitate easy enrolment of brilliant youths in rural areas but who are financially handicapped.
For this, a scholarship scheme is to be introduced to help finance the total cost of their education at the university.