By Chukwudi Ndubeze
If recent developments at Nnamdi Azikiwe University is anything to go by, Prof Charles Okechukwu Esimone FAS, the institution’s sixth substantive Vice- Chancellor is on the right track to taking the University to be among the revered 200 Universities of the world, www.odogwublog.com reports.
Esimone, a Professor of Biopharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Microbiology took it upon himself to redefine the citadel of learning by turning it into a digital space where the entire system is digitalized and kept in tandem with the global academic practice known to exist among the top ranked Universities of the world.
Ranging from digitized transcript retrieval system, CCTV installations at every nook and cranny of the campus, the VC has put up structures that has continued to make learning and life easy for staff and students.
In an interview with www.odogwublog.com, the Director, Business Ventures and Consultancy Services, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, Dr. Uche Ngenegbo said the Vice- Chancellor, Prof Esimone is on a mission to sanitize elements that has continued to be a deface to the citadel of learning and installing systems that are taking the institution to great heights.
He also said that certain situations were an eyesore to the Vice- Chancellor and spurred him to initiate school beautification agenda to restore the lost glory of the institution and even turn it around as the institution the world all over would love to visit.
Explaining new developments in the school, Dr Ngenegbo noted that shanties and bamboo shops that littered nooks and crannies of the institution are already bidding bye bye to the school as plans for their removal was confirmed with the flag off of the construction of model Lock-up shops within the university.
He said with the arrangement, visitors to the institution will be availed not just sense of serenity, but also that which is obtainable in proper academic environment.
The Director Business Ventures and Consultancy Services whose office is spearheading the remodelling of the business premises and other key projects of the institution said until the coming of Prof Esimone, the institution had unchecked activities of street hawkers within the university.
“The Vice-Chancellor thought it would be necessary to reconstruct and make the school beautiful. So, while he was thinking that, he found out that the school has been terribly defaced by hawkers and people who mount shops indiscriminately within the school and around the busy roads of the campus.
” To drive home his dream for the university, investors were invited to build lock-up shops to replace shops with all types of shapes that has contributed to the defacing of the school compound.
” Right now, where those shackled shops exist, we have given them notices to quit, while we had already provided a temporary place to hang on before the completion of the lock up shops. The VC is not only thinking about welfare but also the beautification of the university as obtained in the developed countries. We have a system that is working.
It would be recalled that the beautification programme started with construction of convenience centres. The agenda was to help friends and visitors who may have need to either defecate or urinate to do so at a certain designated place instead of indulging in indiscriminate defecation.
“There is increased number of friends that come into the school. Usually, we as senior staff have conveniences attached to our offices and visitors often use these conveniences if they know any senior staff; but what about those that do not know anybody? The Vice-Chancellor having thought about the situation, invited investors to build structures for conveniences under Public Private Partnership.
” We actually inherited two toilet facilities done by the TETfund, we have pitched them in good shape, doing other ones. We plan to have these facilities scattered at strategic locations to help reduce indiscriminate defecation within the school premises. So, it may sometime become a law to bare people urinating anyhow around the school premises.
He maintained that Project 200 is all about every aspect of human life, stressing that the vision is not only in structures, but also in habits and mindsets.
“The Vice-Chancellor is very creative, articulate and likes the best. He came on board, thinking what to do and the first thing that came to his mind was what to do to make the university among the first 200 universities in the world where total improvement and digitalizing of processes away from manuals would be involved.
” Since then, he has not relented. He has made everybody his director to realize that this must be achieved no matter how large it is looking. He made it clear that there can never be any good reason for a failure no matter how good the reason is”.
In a phone interview with www.odogwublog.com on the realization of the activities of the Unizik Business Ventures and Consultancy Services, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Administration, Prof Joseph Ikechebelu, he insisted that the Vice-Chancellor Prof Charles Okechukwu Esimone is a man who doesn’t take excuse for any well thought out project rather than seeing it’s fruitful completion. He said he projects being handled by Business Ventures and Consultancy Services are well thought out projects of the Prof Esimone’s administration and would be completed ar record time.