Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State on Wednesday pledged to inject funds to the infrastructural and manpower development of the state-owned Niger Delta University and make it financially autonomous.
Dickson made the pledge in Yenagoa during the submission of the interim report on NDU by the Chairman of the committee set up to review its operations, Prof. Stephen Odiowei.
He noted that NDU had the potential for self sustainability, adding that the challenge of the government was how to raise funds to close the gap of neglect the institution suffered in the past by investing to raise its capacity.
Dickson also pledged to support the committee to ensure that it formulated a development plan for the university.
He promised to study the interim report with a view to taking the most appropriate decisions that would impact positively on the institution.
Restating the government’s stand on subvention for tertiary institutions, Dickson noted that it was a sustainable means to reduce cost of running and encourage infrastructural development.
Dickson said: “The government’s position on the issue of subvention is well known and we will encourage it because it is sustainable during this period of economic recession, it fast-tracks infrastructure development.
“The government does not consider it sustainable to be paying salaries of lecturers and other staff, as the NDU has the potential for self sustainability through internally generated revenue to meet its demands.”
Presenting the report, Odiowei said NDU had 12 faculties, 63 departments and 91 programmes, adding that 18 departments had interim accreditation, 27 unaccredited programmes and nine without accreditation.
Summarizing the findings and observations, he said that inadequate funding and power supply, poor service delivery and delay in salary payment were some of the factors militating against the development of the institution.
The committee recommended the provision of a 1,000-KVA generating set to serve both the new and old campuses, financial support to the school’s farm and prompt and regular payment of salaries.
It also recommended the engagement of professors and senior lecturers as factors that could enhance the smooth running of the university.