A very happy new year to my dear students and staff members of the University. It gives me great joy to welcome everyone back, particularly our newly admitted students. As new students, you are commencing a significant period of transition in your life, in which you will be challenged intellectually, enriched academically, and rewarded, both personal and professionally. I wish you the best as you embark on this journey.
My sincere appreciation to the Management and staff of the University for their hard work and tenacity to succeed in all endeavours and assigned responsibilities in the past year. Undoubtably, the year 2018 will come with opportunities to record more success and consolidate our accomplishments in the last two(2) years of my administration.
In the year 2017 the University had embarked on infrastructural renaissance with projects such as the state-of-the-art Administrative Block, construction of Theatre and Dance Studio, construction of Mass Communication Radio and Television Studios, provision of a Digital English Language Laboratory, opening of access to the Permanent Site and an integrated farm project. These and other projects were inaugurated by the Visitor to the University and our amiable Governor, His Excellency, Mr. Gabriel Udom Emmanuel during the 2nd and 3rd combined convocation ceremony of the University last year. In our resolve to commence academic activities in 2018/2019, I have inaugurated the board of School of Post Graduate Studies to pilot the affairs of the school. As a show of its commitment towards laying a good a foundation for the new school, it is heartwarming to identify with DESICON Engineering Limited, an indigenous Company in the Provision of Innovative Engineering, Procurement and Construction(EPC) solutions, for also creating and promoting its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative in AKSU with the donation of a - 90 bed Post Graduate Hostel to the University. The hostel is to be named "Obong (Engr.) Asuquo Udofia's Post Graduate Hostel". Thank you DESICON!I want to reiterate our resolve to collaborate with Akwa Ibom State Government and consolidate our diversification into commercial agriculture, the University has focused on harnessing the vast agricultural resources available in the Obio-Akpa campus of the University. The Commercial Farm has commenced operations with a number of major activities such as: the reactivation of the Palm Oil Mill, the reactivation of the Feed Mill which is ready for the milling of grains and production of livestock feeds; the procurement of a screen-house for the production of tomatoes, etc. More so, we have commenced in the commercial production of palm oil, fish, poultry tomatoes, among others. The University community, the host community and indeed members of the public have started feeling the impact of agricultural produce from the University.
The importance of knowledge building, ideas, innovation and research for our global society is a truism. Our University aims to be a one of the leading Universities in Nigeria, where highly ambitious students from any part of the world can come to study and research, contributing to the realization of human prosperity. Therefore, we will continue to work towards the delivery of cutting edge e-learning technologies that allow our University Community to seamlessly connect, learn and interact. The year 2017 also saw us establishing and building upon our linkages with various international academic institutions and organizations in order to improve research and training in the University.
A total of ten(10) academic programmes are expected to be accredited this year, we are not building the University for the National University Commission(NUC) accreditation, but to ensure an excellent environment is provided for learning and research. We are working assiduously to improve our academic and learning environment by building additional classrooms and laboratories/workshops, staff offices, conference rooms and other related facilities. Upgrade of ICT Infrastructure and acquisition of e-resources for all the programmes in the University will be given the attention it deserves. We are also set to complete the building of the following laboratories: Marketing, Accounting, Econometrics and Marine Engineering laboratories. The facilities for the departments of Marketing and Accounting, will also house a Cold Room and other facilities that will showcase and market the products from the AKSU Commercial farms.The permanent site of the University is being given attention by ensuring commencement of work on roads, some buildings and provision of electricity. The first phase of this development was the opening up of the entrance and construction of a double cell culvert to the permanent site along the East-West road (Eket/Ikot Abasi Highway). This was followed by the extension of electricity to the permanent site, and this involved the opening up of roads in tandem with the University Draft Master Plan, planting and stringing of poles and building a 500KVA sub-station. Approval has already been given by TETFund for the construction of buildings for the Faculty of Biological Sciences, School of Post Graduate Studies and Centre for Entrepreneurial Studies at the permanent site.
I inherited a work force whose morale was at its lowest ebb with its attendant problems of truancy and ineptness. The narrative is different today, we now have staff who are not only motivated and dedicated, but have exuded appreciable level of confidence in the discharge of their duty. Once again, I take this opportunity to commend all of you for your hard work throughout the year 2017 and urge you to raise your game in your future endeavours.Thank you for being part of our success story so far. Thank you so much for contributing to make the year 2017 memorable. Please join me in the onerous task of taking the University to enviable heights in 2018. On behalf of the Management and my family, I wish you all sustained peace and best of health in the years ahead. God bless you all. Prof. Eno J. Ibanga, fnip Vice Chancellor