On January 18, 2024, the Federal University Otuoke gracefully convened its 13th Congregation meeting within the confines of the main auditorium at the East Campus. The proceedings were presided over with distinction by the Vice Chancellor, Professor Teddy Charles Adias, who held the distinguished position of Chairman of the auspicious occasion.
Having convened the Congregation in accordance with the University’s governing statutes, Professor Teddy Charles Adias, in his remarks, informed the Congregation on a happy note of the appointment of His Royal Majesty, Agaba’Idu, Elaigwu Odogbo Obagaji John, the O’chi Idoma as the new Chancellor of Federal University Otuoke by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
Professor Adias said his duty is to intimate members of the Congregation of Management’s modest achievements within the purview of his tenure. He eloquently presented a myriad of achievements since inception as the Vice Chancellor of the esteemed institution. These accomplishments spanned the review and gracious approval of the new conditions of service by the Governing Council in May 2023, and tremendous success in offering promotions to deserving teaching and non-teaching staff in the absence of a Governing Council.
The Vice Chancellor also reeled out a spectrum of institutional advancement initiatives at the levels of the Governing Council, the Senate, and Management, specifically, review of bond fund for scholars, comprehensive capacity building and staff training endeavours, with significant strides made in infrastructural development, expanding the University’s initial capacity of 3,033 in 2011 to 5,643 in 2024 students, which represents 54% increase in student population. With this new approval, FUO will move from 10,000 to 12,000 student population to about 13.000 to14,000 carrying capacity for undergraduates, and 384 to 715 student population for the postgraduate cadre.
Professor Adias further harped on facilitating the Students Consultative Forum as a means to engender relative peace in the University, recruitment of 230 new teaching personnel and orchestrating well-deserved transitions for non-teaching staff members, seamlessly integrating them into the esteemed teaching cadre. Among the noteworthy milestones, are the ongoing 52 undergraduate programmes from the initial 28 programmes alongside additional 18 new postgraduate programmes, which has moved the total number of postgraduate programmes to 32 approved by the National Universities Commission (NUC). The establishment of new Faculties at the level of Senate, namely, the Faculty of Nursing Science, the Faculty of Medical Laboratory Science, the Faculty of Basic Medical Science, and the Faculty of Law, which are all functional with the exception of the Faculty of Law. Plus the request to the National Universities Commission (NUC) for additional postgraduate programmes, these underscore the transformative leadership and visionary direction witnessed under his able leadership.
Professor Adias emphasized that Management will make rules that consider the students as partners in progress and continue to deepen the University process via Inaugural Lectures, adding that the functionality of the ICT Unit has been improved upon and Internet facilities are now free within the walls of the University.
The Vice Chancellor also informed members of the Congregation that admissions for the 2023/2024 academic session have been completed with an intake of 4,202 students into various programmes in FUO and that the 12th Matriculation ceremony has been scheduled for February 17, 2024.
Other areas of achievements according to Professor Teddy Charles Adias are a successful completion of ICT related train- the -trainers programme intended to fast-track competence among staff of the institution, the payment of hazard allowances to non-teaching staff in December 2023, disbursement of 100 laptops to deserving staff, autonomy granted to the Student Union Government via direct payment of levies to designated SUG account, completion of the University perimeter fence, restoration of two staff welfare buses, completion of offices for Professors at the Faculty of Science, and the establishment of the Centre for Niger Delta Studies and Sustainability.
High point of Professor Teddy Charles Adias’ brief was the announcement that the Federal University Otuoke was a recipient of the Federal Character Commission’s Award of the Principle of Federal Character as the institution in Nigeria that conformed more to the principle, appointment of a new Bursar, Legal Adviser, the establishment of the Centre for Basic Studies which has begun Remedial Studies already, and the Centre for Continued Education, among others.
Ongoing projects according the VC include renovation of office spaces, digitalization of the University Library as an online repository, approval for the construction of structures for lectures in the Faculty of Science, and proposal for a Cloud based storage space of about 10 terabytes for safe keeping of records.
Professor Adias commended all staff for the tremendous support he and the Management team have enjoyed so far, but reaffirmed the need to maintain discipline and order in Federal University Otuoke as a top priority. To round off the meeting, the VC was presented with an award for Excellence by the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities led by the Chairman of the Association, Mr. Kalizibe Joseph.
From the Publications Unit