Address by the Interim Chairman of Progressive ASUU of Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University
It is with great pleasure and utmost concern that I stand here to read this Communique on ‘Within Two Years in Office of Prof.Greg.C.Nwakoby as the Vice Chancellor of Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Anambra State’.
Prof. Greg C.Nwakoby assumed office as the substantive Vice Chancellor of this University in December 2018. Before his coming, there had been a heightened and uneasy atmosphere in the. University as there was uneasy atmosphere of who would become the next Vice Chancellor since the tenure of the incumbent then was expiring. Tensions mounted and many things happened. It was at the peak of all these that the Governor of Anambra State, His Excellency, Chief(Dr) Willie Maduaburochukwu Obiano, appointed Prof. Nwakoby, the next Vice Chancellor of this great University. He became the substantive V C on December of the same year. Since then Prof.Greg C. Nwakoby swung into action to prove his integrity and professionalism as a renowned Lawyer, an Arbitrator per excellence, a Professor of Law.
His landmark achievements in COOU speak volume of his personality.
Without winking a bit, without any form of prejudice to any person, group or affilliation, we ought to, in this University, for now, be thankful to God that this great man was brought to us as our V C.
The University had before now lost composure in terns of human and material resources; buildings were not coming up and some that were there were at some levels abandoned and were deteriorating fast. The emergence of Prof. Greg. Nwakoby changed the status quo.
Most of the abandoned buildings, eg the building for the Management Sciences, was the first to catch the attention and pity of the new VC and he wondered why such an edifice would be allowed to submerge in the hollows of inexpansive or shrinked focus on tomorrow and financial loss. Today, the Vice Chancellor has beamed his torch light on the building and it is receiving the required attention.
The Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences through the efforts of the present VC got the attention of well meaning Anambrarians and corporate bodies who donated both cash and other materials for speedy growth of the Faculty.
The Faculty of Education buildings behind the Afri-hub cannot be forgotten quickly. Today the Faculty has expanded and its facet at Uli campus will soon be brought down to Igbariam, and Education Faculty will now be talking of commencing the Sandwich Programme which other institutions had long engaged in.
Let us also consider the erection of hostels within the Igbariam Campus for the students. Without mincing words, previous administrations never thought of how the students get maimed or even lose their lives through Okada accidents as a result of the off-campus syndrome. Prof. Nwakoby came and had sympathy and through his expansive ideology, brought in many investors who are now erecting hostels for the students in the campus. This is great innovation and requires applauses instead of bickerings.
Many other positive changes came with Prof. Nwakoby. Such positive changes include, but not limited to:
1.Eradication of cultism in campuses
2. Release of semester results on time
3. Instillation of dignity and hardwork on both staff and students
4. Rallying round the ‘big shots’ in Anambra State to come to the aid of the only State University they have (and they came), hence some of these infrastructural developments in the campuses.
5. Revitalized work ethics of the staff
6. Release of Union’s check-offs
7. Encouragement of staff training and Conferences etc.
8. The achievements of the Faculty of Engineering at Uli came to limelight within these two years of Nwakoby’s leadership. This ranged from the laurels won by the students of the Faculty, to the manufacture of Automated Covid-19 Hand Washing Machine.
9. Many Departments that were not doing well before came to their peak with the emergence of the great Greg, a seasoned administrator.
10. ln the area of staffing , he had increased the number of lecturers through interview
11. Even new Departments are springing up since he came – Nursing , Medical Lab Science etc.
12.The new Faculty of Agriculture complex abandoned for more than four years has now been completed
13. Monthly salaries are now paid promptly without loan and without bailout from Government.
14. Staff promotion is made annually on or before 1st October annually.
15. More than one hundred academic staff have been promoted to the ranks of Professors and Associate Professors within the two years of Prof Greg C Nwakoby tenure.
16. Prof Greg C. Nwakoby institutionalised the Chukwuemeka Odimegwu Ojukwu Memorial Lecture in the University. This is an idea never imagined by anybody in the University. The sponsorship has always been by outsiders.
17. From 2018, he has attracted a lot of donors to the university eg the traditional ruler of Ogidi Kingdom who is building additional physical facilities for the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Chief Allen Onyema and Tonimas who donated funds for the building of Faculty of Education complex which is more than 80% completed.
18 The two laboratory complexes at Uli and Igbariam campuses were abandoned since 2015. As at today, the construction works have commenced on the two buildings with intention to complete them before the end of the year.
19. Payment of arrears of check off dues owed to some unions from December 2016, payment of arrears of National housing fund and contributors’ pensions, etc.
20. The University now operates without fear of cultism as he conducted the best cultism renunciation in the University. Discipline is enthroned and cases of examination malpractice and cultism are promptly and effectively punished. This is to mention only but few of the achievements made in the university within the short stay of the VC, Prof Greg C Nwakoby.
We have heard it that the University does not have Theatres. That could be true of COOU in the years 2000/2001. We have more than five(5) theaters in the University now eg Two(2) ETF Theaters at Uli and Igbariam campuses, two(2) at the Faculties of Engineering and Pharmaceutical Sciences buildings, NEEDS Theatre Complex at Igbariam etc.
On the issue of school resumption, the government has given us directive to resume and we have resolved to start because of the peculiarities of our own University. We have graduated our Medical students last week and our first year students have concluded their first semester examinations. It is worthy of note that our University is not the only State University which has resumed in Nigeria. The ASUU Chairman misrepresented the facts and has not represented the Academic Staff well. As a matter of fact, we have no problem with our dynamic and ebullient Vice Chancellor; we have no problem with the University Management and it is not true that the University anti-cult harassed and molested ASUU members in our University.
Above all, Prof. Nwakoby ensures regular payment of staff salaries, even amidst the Covid-19 Pandemic and the ASUU strike. With Prof Nwakoby, the entire staff of COOU, for the first time had their December salaries paid before the 23rd of December in 2018 and 2019, a thing that had never been in the previous years. We all applauded to that great change.
Through the efforts of the Vice Chancellmor, many developments were attracted to the University and these are spread across the length and bredth of the University.
We should therefore give the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Greg. C. Nwakoby the true support he needs to do more as we need more human and material developments in the University.
Thank you and God bless you all.
Professor O.I. Chiaghanam
Interim Chairman, PROGRESSIVE ASUU COOU
The Public is hereby notified that classes will resume on 5th October, 2020
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