Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State has inaugurated the 7-member Visitation Panel to the Abia State University, Uturu.
The Visitation Panel is headed by Chief J. U. K. Igwe, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony held at the Executive Council Chambers, Government House Umuahia, Governor Ikpeazu said that the setting up of the panel became expedient following the expiration of the former administration of the University headed by Prof. Uche Ikonne. This, the Governor said, is in line with standard practice in university administration.
Ikpeazu explained that the visitation panel is expected to determine areas of need in the tertiary institution.
The Panel’s Terms of Reference, according to Ikpeazu, include to review the activities of the university from 2011 to 2020; a review of the academic programs with a view to ascertaining their relevance and whether or not they are current and in line with the 21st century demands in education.
The Governor charged the panel to review the guidelines on admission and its implementation as well as review the financial transactions for the period 2011- 2020.
The panel is also to look into the staffing of the school to determine the adequacy or deficiency of lecturers and otherwise and consider the state of infrastructure facilities in the institution.
Other terms of reference of the panel include to review the administrative policies in terms of staff welfare and promotions; consider staff development in terms of training and research; and to review quality and qualification of academic staff, whether it meets the National Universities Commission, NUC, requirements and to make necessary recommendations on any other matter incidental thereto or considered relevant to the growth of the institution.
The Governor, who said that “highly respected Abians” were selected to serve on the panel, congratulated the immediate administration of the school led by Prof. Ikonne whom he noted took the university from “obscurity to number 26 in the ranking of Nigerian universities and the 2nd best state university.”
He noted that the university had ran five uninterrupted academic sessions but for COVID-19 and also won many awards in some faculties, notably in Law and Medicine even as he charged the new Vice Chancellor, Professor O M Ogbulu, who was part of the delegation, to further push the university higher in excellence.
Responding on behalf of the other members, the Chairman of the visitation panel, Chief J. U. K. Igwe, SAN, recalled that education occupies a special place in the heart of the governor as his vision is to turn the Abia State University, Uturu to a world class university.
He gave the assurance that they would make actionable recommendations to ensure consistency in the vision of the Governor.
Other members of the Visitation Panel include Hon. Jude Udeachara, Sir Sam Onukwue, Dame Victoria Akanwa, and HRH Eze Love Wogu.
Others are Dr. Nathaniel Iheanacho, mni, and Mr. Okechukwu Ihedioha, to serve as the Secretary of the Panel.
Secretary to Government, Barrister Chris Ezem, Honorable Commissioner Finance, Dr. Aham Ukoh, his counterparts in Information and Homeland Security, Chief John Okiyi Kalu, and Prince Dan Okoli, as well as the Chief of Staff to the Governor, Dr. ACB Agbazuere, were amongst other top officials of the State Government who witnessed the event.