By Samuel Oyadongha – Yenagoa
Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, has offered automatic employment to 104 First Class graduates of the state-owned Niger Delta University, Amassoma in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area.
Dickson gave the directive during the 5th Combined Convocation ceremony of the NDU from 2015 to 2019 academic sessions.
The beneficiaries include 13 best graduating students of the different faculties of the institution which convokes 15,853 graduands with 91 making First Class.
He said the directive was in conformity with his administration’s policy of absorbing first-class students into the civil service.
Highlighting the restoration government’s efforts at making huge investments in the education sector, Dickson stressed that in future such investments would serve as a catalyst to reposition the economy of the state beyond oil and gas.
“Our vision is to envision a future for our people beyond oil and gas. As you all know this environment more than those outside, oil and gas are wasting assets. Technology is even overtaking its usefulness.
“Our future, a sustainable future, for Bayelsa, Ijaw Nation, Niger Delta, and even Nigeria is envision a society and economy beyond oil and gas which in my view should be based on investments in education, expanding the frontiers of education, building more schools and more schools and not get tired of it.
“We should attract the world to Bayelsa, to attend our schools and we need more schools. Let us make ourselves a hub for educational tourism.
“Let us be key participants in the future economy that is non-oil in nature. Let us envision a role for economy of knowledge that is coming ahead of us. It may get to us in the next 15/20 years but surely it will come.
“Let it be that when that day comes, we are known as a place where people from the whole world rush to, in Africa and Nigeria, in the quest for knowledge, tourism, agriculture because all these other things we see today that form the bedrock, oil and gas, are a passing phase and we all know that,” he said.
He also called on public-spirited individuals, corporate bodies as well as government officials to give support to the development of education in the state.
While appreciating the various contributions made by successive governments of the state and management to the development of NDU, the governor noted that the university had endured over the years to become a beacon of hope not only in Bayelsa but also in the Niger Delta.
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He expressed gratitude to the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council and his team for the honour bestowed on him by naming the new Senate building and the dualized road linking the university’s old site to the permanent one in his honour.
In his welcome address, the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council, NDU, Mr Mathew Seiyefa said the convocation ceremony was significant as it is taking place at a historical point in the political trajectory and transformation of the physical, academic and administrative sectors of the university.
Mr Seiyefa commended Dickson for his indelible efforts in changing the landscape of the institution through infrastructural development.
The former Acting Director-General of the Department of State Services, who advised the graduands to sustain their reading habits said that they should not be discouraged by the lack of jobs in the country but to utilize the technological tools with which the NDU had equipped them to solve challenges.
Also in his address, the Vice-Chancellor of the NDU, Prof. Samuel Edoumiekumo, said a total of 15,853 received various degrees and diploma certificates out of which a total of 91 made the first class.
He noted that the university had its convocation delayed for five years due to some exigencies which made it combine graduands from 2014/15 to 2018/19 for the conferment of various degree and diplomas.