The Governor of Bayelsa State, Honourable Henry Seriake Dickson, has said that the establishment of the second state owned university, the University of Africa, is for the common good.
Dickson who also spoke on the confusion around the status of the new university said the institution was owned and funded solely by the Bayelsa State Government.
A statement by his Special Adviser on Media Relations, Mr. Fidelis Soriwei, quoted the governor as having said that his administration took the decision under difficult circumstances to establish university to create more access to quality university education in Bayelsa
The Governor dismissed insinuations in some quarters that the state government had abandoned the premiere Niger Delta University with the establishment of the second state-owned university.
He said that mischievous element who did not mean well for the well being of the state were behind the unfounded allegations designed to inflame passion against the government.
He stressed that the model of funding of the University of Africa was different as it was meant to be self sustaining through exploitation of business opportunities and other avenues of revenue generation.
Dickson explained that the university already established two companies, the UAT Farms Company Limited, and the UAT Investment Company Limited while the premiere Niger Delta University had come up with Niger Delta Investment Company Limited and the Niger Delta Consultancy Services.
The governor commended the management of the NDU for commencing business operations in consonance with the government policy for funding tertiary institutions by establishing the NDU table water which he said was among the best in the society.
He added that his administration was engrossed in moves to get accreditation for all the faculties in NDU in addition to ongoing construction of the Senate building and a road network in the institution.
He said, “This Administration took the decisive step to establish the University òf Africa because we believe it is for the common good. The UAT is expected to open more access to university education in the state as has been observed by several credible authorities.
“Those who are peddling the lie that this government planned to abandon the NDU are mischief makers who do not mean well for our state.”
It was further stated in the statement that several states in Nigeria have established two or more state owned universities in response to the academic needs of their citizens.
Some of states with two or more state universities to include Ondo State which has Ondo State University, Akungba, Ondo State University òf Science and Technology, Okitipupa, Ondo State University òf Medical Sciences, Ondo; Ogun state with Tai Solarin University of Education, Olabisi Onabanjo University and Moshood Abiola University.
States such as Kano, Edo, Oyo, Gombe, Rivers, Imo, each has two state universities established obviously in response to the yearningsof their citizens for more access to University education.
A former Minister of Science and Technology, Prof. Turner Isoun, had called for the establishment of more universities in the countries to respond to the increase in the demand for tertiary education in the country.
Justifying the establishment of more universities in the country, Isoun had said that available data in the society showed that the existing universities have been inadequate in meeting the needs of the youths for university education.