L-R: Mr. Allison Ayida, Prime Promoter of Warri University and Prof Nimbe Adedipe, Chairman of theAcademic Planning and Curriculum Development Summit at the event. Photo Shola Oyelese

By Emmanuel Edukugho
A planning and Curriculum Development Summit with participants drawn from the Nigerian academia and other major stakeholders have unanimously agreed that a Warri University should be established.

The participants at the 3-day Summit held recently in Lagos and chaired by Mr. Allison Ayida, one-time secretary and head of service, Federal Government of Nigeria, who is the prime promoter of the proposed university, came from 16 Nigerian universities and one American University, including five former Vice-Chancellors, three Presidents of Professional Bodies and Associations, several former Deans of Faculties and Directors of relevant institutions and Agencies, key private and public players in educational management, endorsed the viability of the university, believed to be long over due.

After the consultant and facilitator, Professor Adedipe, had finished his exhaustive power point presentation titled: “The Proposed Warri University: The Need, The Structure, The Global and The National Relevance Perspective,” there was a consensus among all the participants whereby, he moved the first motion.
Adedipe said in his motion:

“Based on what have been on the ground, the commitment of the promoters, the signs of support from the community, this summit has resolved that the Warri University will be viable and provide its quota to the development of the Nigerian University System.”

The second motion was moved by a professor who said:
“All things taken together, with the Vice-Chancellors hereby present, professors and deans, and as proposed, we feel that this university will bring a change and be among the best in the world”.

The consultant thereafter called for a division – whether there is a counter motion or not. There was no counter motion. Voice votes were subsequently taken and the “a yes” had it, indicating a “total and unanimous support of the summit for the university with sustainable funding and good governance.”

The university would be located in Iffie, 5km from Warri City. Typology: Conventional with unconventiona faculties and institutes to cater for the peculiar needs of the people.

Vision: To train and cater for scholars, leaders and persons diligently and decently for the development and progress of their environments and the world in all forms and matters that enrich mankind.

Mission: To provide, in a highly moral, academic and research-driven manner, the freedom of enquiry that shall allow the full ferment of thought from which scholars and leaders shall derive new knowledge to enrich the human experience and enhance the human condition.

Objective: To be a leading university in Nigeria, to provide for its immediate environment and the enhancement of the human condition.
Commencement: Not later than two years after the acceptance of the Report by the Board.

Funding: Selfless, Philanthropic and Patriotic Itsekiri men and women possessing the financial muscle.

Adedipe drew the attention of the promoter to the guidelines of the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC) which include the following:

* Payment of N2.25 million for Application and Processing fees;
* The proposed university must have a solid and sustainable modality for funding, hence, the need to pay, ab initio, the sum of N200 million, as non-refundable deposit as surety for defaults and mishaps in the process of establishing and running the university;

* Given NUC funding parameters, and in the light of any overall experience, the promoter will need to spend about N400 million for the Summit and the production of the three strategic documents (Academic Brief VOLs I and II, Draft Law and the Masterplan);

* NUC Verification visits towards approval, will cost a minimum of N10 million; and

* The capital and recurrent expenditure on facilities prior to NUC approval is in the neighbourhood of N800 million.

The consultant cautioned that although a community private university, the proposed Warri University shall not be a local university and “must subject itself to globally and nationally prescribed norms. In addition, it shall be mindful of the cost implications of the macro, mini and micro structure of the organogram. Basically, a 2-tier collegiate structure (from the college level to the Department level, without intervening Faculty level).

All programmes must be those for which there are NUC Benchmark Minimum Academic Standards (BMAS).  According to Adedipe, “this is important for programme accreditation purposes”.

He noted, at the presentation during the Summit, that the proposed university does not also have to institute all possible departments nor offer all possible courses and programmes within departments.

“Consequently, there must be cost effectiveness and quality control,” he added.
At the plenary, the main business of the Summit finalised the following: Brief history, vision, mission, philosophy, objectives, logo, motto, university colours, colours of the Hoods of the Colleges.

All matters relating to the basic character of the Academic brief shall be devolved to the Planning and Implementation Committee (PIC) which emerged at the end of the Summit.

Adedipe’s presentation also touched on the idea, the primer, stimulus, location, guidelines for the establishment of the university, the task before the summit, and the business of the summit which will last for three days.

He explained that arising from the consultations made with major stakeholders, it has been decided that the proposed Warri University shall be composed of: College of Arts, Humanities and Human Development with four departments; College of Social and Management Sciences with 5 Departments, including General Studies and Entrepreneurial Skill Development; College of Basic and Applied Sciences with 5 Departments; College of Law, with 4 Departments; College of Engineering and Technology with 5 Departments; College of Medical and Health Science with 15 Departments.

Earlier, former Secretary and Head of Service, Federal Government of Nigeria, Mr. Allison Ayida, made a case for Warri University at the summit organised by Warri Progress and Enlightenment Foundation in Lagos, saying that such a university is long over due as the people have been short changed in the scheme of things in this nation and this is the time to put things right for posterity.

“Surprisingly, Warri is the only sea port town in the country without a university in her name. For instance, Lagos, Port Harcourt, Calabar, all have universities in their names. Warri is a town larger than some state capitals with at least one university yet has none to her name.

Warri is the only colonial headquarters out of the 25 provincial capitals in Nigeria without a university in her name. Moreso, Warri and her people have contributed enormously to the educational advancement of Nigeria.

Ayida told the summit, which comprised of seasoned, erudite, tested, accomplished scholars, Professors, former Vice Chancellors and highly experienced university technocrats that the sons and daughters of Warri kingdom are committed to the project and have embraced the need for a conventional university.

“Consequently, men and women of goodwill and of substantial means have also been sensitized and have committed themselves to supporting the establishment of a Warri University,” adding, “we realised this is not money making venture but we are poised to ensuring sustainable funding as we shall mount practical means.”

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