By Tongnaan Dada Bawa, Jos
Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong has received accolades for reviving the Plateau State University Bokkos (PLASU) which was comatose when he assumed office but put it back on the path of growth and excellence.
The commendation was made during the 6th and 7th combined Convocation of the University held in Bokkos.
Chairman of the Governing Council Mgr. Prof. Francis Obiora Ike said apart from reviving the University, the Governor has invested resources in the institution and also created synergy with the Federal Government and the private sector to create opportunities for the growth of the University.
Prof. Obiora said the University has gradually expanded and is making inroads in the national and international academic spheres.
Vice Chancellor of the University Prof. Yohanna Izam said the administration of Governor Lalong has proved skeptics wrong by revamping the institution and putting it on strong footing, thereby making it one of the best in the country particularly among its pears.
He said it was because of the passion and zeal of Governor Lalong that the University got support for the accreditation of all its courses as well as the introduction of new ones.
Prof. Izam said the new faculties are possible because of the investment of the State Government as well as the interventions by Tetfund in physical infrastructure and manpower development.
He said 1,356 students were being awarded degrees in various disciplines having fulfilled all the conditions for the award and found to be of good character.
The Vice Chancellor said while a lot has been achieved, there is still need to do more in addressing the challenges of water, power, security and fencing, hostels and staff quarters.
Governor Lalong said he was delighted with the growth of the Plateau State University which started with so much enthusiasm but later suffered setbacks and was nearly aborted by some people for reasons best known to them.
He said to the glory of God, the gains of the establishment of the University have begun to manifest to the consternation of many skeptics and pessimists where those who did not wish well for the University have turned around to lay claim to its success.
He used the opportunity to pay tribute to the former Governor of Plateau State Senator Joshua Chibi Dariye, who took the bold step to establish the University despite all odds. He also appreciated former Head of State General Yakubu Gowon who defied skeptics and threw his full weight behind the University.
He said “it is the determination of this government to continue to deploy available resources for the development of both the physical infrastructure and manpower to promote effective teaching, learning and research in the University. Because of the efforts we have put in so far and with the support of TetFund and the private sector, the University campus has witnessed tremendous growth and transformation in recent times. This has led to establishment of additional four new faculties of Law, Environmental Science, Health Sciences, Agriculture, Education as well as the School of Post Graduate Studies”.
Lalong encouraged the graduands to look beyond certificates and add value to the society by practical demonstration of knowledge acquired as the State and nation is in dire need for solutions to various challenges and is looking up to them.
He called on the management and academic staff of the University to also deepen their research and teaching into the critical challenges that are common to Plateau State and nation.
Plateau he said has a unique weather and climate that supports peculiar agriculture, tourism, mining, sports, investment and many other endeavours that can yield jobs and income for our teeming youths.
Honorary Doctorate Degrees were awarded to deserving personalities who include Prof. Ochapa Onazi, Prof. Isawa Eliagwu and Dr. Dere Awosika.
Outstanding graduands who got first class in various courses were given automatic employment by the Plateau State Governor as well as certificates and cash.
The Governor commissioned some projects which include Post Graduate School, University Rock Garden named after the Governor, Advancement and linkages office block and Faculty of agriculture.