Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri, has awarded a N40million research grant to Prof. Dimie Ogoina, a recipient of the Time Magazine “2023 100 Most Influential Persons in the World.”
Senator Diri made the pronouncement on Monday when Prof. Ogoina, accompanied by members of the central planning committee for celebrating the recipient, paid him a courtesy visit in Government House, Yenagoa.
Governor Diri, who applauded Ogoina for his dedication to duty, noted that the Chief Medical Director of the Niger Delta University Teaching Hospital at Okolobiri was instrumental to the few deaths recorded in the state during the COVID-19 pandemic that ravaged the world in 2020.
While congratulating the infectious disease physician-scientist for his achievement, the governor stated that he not only made Bayelsa State proud, but Nigeria and Africa as a whole
He said: “The moment I assumed office (in February 2020), we had COVID-19 outbreak. Prof. Ogoina was up and doing. His work ethics were second to none.
“I am not surprised that he has been recognized. Part of why we didn’t record several deaths in Bayelsa was as a result of the leadership he gave, working with the Ministry of Health.
“You have made our state proud. The state government hereby commits itself to a research grant for you to the tune of N40 million. We know you will bring more honour to Bayelsa.
“Let me on behalf of the Prosperity Government and the good people of Bayelsa State congratulate you for this feat you achieved. It is not a mean feat to be so recognized internationally. You are a proud son of Bayelsa, Kolokuma/ Opokuma, of Nigeria, and indeed Africa.
“The story about Prof. Ogoina is well-known. All that have worked with him attest to the fact that he sticks to his work regardless of the environment he finds himself.”
Earlier, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Pabara Igwele, said Ogoina was worth celebrating due to his achievements in healthcare administration, noting that the adoption of his advised protocol saved many Nigerians from death during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In his remarks, the Time Magazine 100 Most Influential Persons in the World recipient attributed the recognition and award to not just his diligence but also the grace of God, saying his story was an inspiration to many as he singlehandedly carried out the research at Okolobiri in 2017.
Ogoina stated that his discovery was the route of transmission of the monkey pox disease.
Also speaking, secretary of the Ogoina celebration committee, Dr. Aseima Namara, stated that the world was beginning to look at Bayelsa positively as a result of the recipient’s achievements.
He said the NDUTH CMD was worth celebrating due to his hard work and dedication to duty.
He also commended the Diri administration for its achievements in the health sector and appealed for support for a one-week programme in honour of the awardee tagged: “Festival of Grace and Hard Work.”
NIPR Commends Gov Soludo For Appointing Prof Omenugha As COOU New VC
The Chairman of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), Anambra State chapter, Professor Angela Nwammuo has described the appointment of Prof Kate Omenugha to be the new Vice Chancellor of Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University (COOU) as a square peg in a square hole.
Prof Nwammuo who issued a press release, yesterday, in Awka, in her capacity as the NIPR Chairman in the State said Prof Omenugha’s appointment to the number one position in the university was apt.
She further described it as a reflection of the increasing belief that public relations practitioners were bridge builders and better managers of human and material resources.
Prof Nwammuo, also the Head of, the Department of Mass Communication, COOU noted that by this appointment, Prof Omenugha became the first female and only Vice Chancellor in Anambra State.
“The appointment of Prof Omenugha as the new VC of the COOU who is also a Fellow of the Institute and Council member is in recognition of her exceptional performance as a renowned academic. Most importantly, as the Commissioner for Education in Anambra State the State is still reaping the fruit of the innovations she introduced into the educational sector.
“She is a square peg in a square hole and a familiar terrain.
“As the Institute congratulates her on the deserved honour, we commend the Governor of Anambra State, Prof Charles Soludo for being gender sensitive, identifying and rewarding hard work.
“We pray that the good Lord will be with the new VC as she pilots the affairs of the university. Thank you Mr Governor, “Prof Nwammuo concluded.
Institute Challenges Nigerians On Nation’s Economic Growth
The African School of Diplomacy and International Relations (ASDIR) has stated that concerted efforts from all parties are required to create significant economic progress in Nigeria, stating that without this, the country’s economy will continue to struggle.
The advice was given by Dr Tunji Asaolu, Vice-Chairman/CEO of ASDIR, at the school’s 2023 annual public lecture series, induction, and conferment of honorary doctorate degree ceremony in Abuja.
Asaolu, who is also the Deputy Secretary-General, of African Affairs, International Society of Diplomats (ISD), stated that the call has become critical to ensure the country’s long-term progress.
The theme of the third edition was “The Political Economy of Nation Building: The World’s Unfinished Business.”
“We looked at perceived gaps in terms of economic crisis to chart a way forward to support government efforts to achieve its purpose of representing the people,” Asaolu added.
“Critically, we looked at some ways we can be of help in terms of recommending solutions to perceived economic challenges. Then we came up with a topic centered on the political economy of nation-building.
“We considered this topic as unfinished business because we will continue to be experiencing economic challenges if all hands are not on deck to tackle issues bordering inequality, socioeconomic crisis, poverty and insecurity.”
He explained that the honourary degrees and fellowship awards were carefully conferred on specific persons based on their proven track record of excellence in society.
He mentioned that the awards, which cut across various fields of endeavour, were conferred through collaboration with Queens University Belfast, United Kingdom, which has the right of conferment.
In his remarks, Prof. Jonathan Aremu, Chairman of, Governing Board of ASDIR, said the programme is apt because it will help to boost the capacity of citizens in the area of diplomacy.
He said: “This programme has become necessary for diplomats like those inducted today, to enable them to develop the know-how about best practices and to collaborate with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on diplomacy.
“What the school is doing is to position the graduands to contribute meaningfully to government efforts centered on diplomatic activities and ensure Nigeria performs excellently, among the committee of developed nations.
“Countries must abide by ratified international relations, therefore, this ASDIR initiative is to enable Nigerians imbibe international best practices and concepts of diplomacy.”
The keynote speaker Prof. Mkpa Agu Mkpa, former Vice-Chancellor of Abia State University, Uturu, described knowledge sharing about diplomacy as apt, saying it will enable people to tackle challenges collectively.
According to him, a society that has a sound diplomacy inculcated into its leadership will not experience many conflicts.
“Wherever there is a breakdown of law and order, whenever there is conflict, the first thing people consider is the breakdown of diplomacy.
“So what ASDIR is doing for Nigeria is a very key role in bringing peace to this country.
“All over the world, diplomacy is rated as the number one tool to advocate peace wherever there is conflict,” Mkpa said.
The high point of the event was the conferment of 10 honorary fellowships, the award of 10 honorary doctorate degrees to distinguished personalities, and the induction of 40 persons into the ASDIR.
The event was chaired by Sen. Opeyemi Bamidele, Majority Leader of the 10th Senate, represented by Dr Sadiyat Adepoju.
It attracted dignitaries including Rev. Sam Oye, Founder/Lead Pastor of the Transformation Church, and Dr Temitope Enitan-Ogunwusi, Wife of the Ooni of Ife, as awardees among others.
Hensard University Education Is International, Says Prof. Kumar
Dileep Kumar, a professor and the Vice Chancellor of Hensard University, answers a constant question asked about Hensard University, Nigeria’s international university nestled on River Forcados in Toru-Orua, Bayelsa States. Why should Hensard be the favourite choice of students and parents?
“Anyone who chooses Hensard would benefit from the University’s uniqueness which we summarise as the Hensard Advantage. They are distinct innovations that the University has brought to higher education,” he said in a press statement.
“Hensard students will enjoy a rare combination of academics, practical skills, industrial exposure, and mentorship. Hensard aims to equip its students with real-world experiences and entrepreneurial skills. It is poised to transform graduates into entrepreneurs and wealth creators with industry-oriented skills with international standards that are readily available to Hensard students.
Kumar, with 21 years of international experience garnered from teaching in universities in the Netherlands, Belgium, Georgia, South Africa, UAE, Bahrain, Sultanate of Oman, Ukraine, Turkey, Indonesia, Malaysia, Morocco, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Vietnam, Cambodia, India, said that Hensard was primed to benefit from international linkages and collaborations that would offer the students advantages of receiving instructions in an international environment for teaching and learning.
He summarised the Hensard Advantage thus:
· Dual certifications, international collaborations and partnerships will ensure standards, and exposure of Hensard students to renowned mentors and leaders in various fields, globally
· Collaborations and partnerships with reputable universities, institutions, and industries will ensure that Hensard students draw from sources of knowledge from several points
· Global Student Exchange Programme under which Hensard students would attend lectures in universities abroad as part of the dual certification process
· The worldwide scholars’ programme with rigorous academic experience intertwined and unique opportunities that tap into global academic resources and expertise will avail Hensard student’s exposure to the best international resources
· Global academic network of lecturers and researchers, including the Diaspora Scholars Group, will use cutting-edge technology to deliver lectures in Hensard’s smart lecture halls
· Hensard’s Institutes and Centres of Excellence will ensure constant exposure of students to national and international seminars and conferences that will keep Hensard students abreast of the latest developments in the international knowledge space
· Mentorship of students will be by global leaders from international and corporate advisory boards with relevant competencies in the students’ fields
· The International Board of Governors comprising global leaders in government, academia, business, and research will provide students with a unique combination of diverse mentoring experience
· Practical Entrepreneurship Exposure while at school and Start-up Funds for Hensard graduates through the Hensard Entrepreneurship and Cooperative make Hensard unique
“These are to be coordinated by the carefully selected Hensard team of international faculty and staff with vast experiences to create a truly robust academic community of students, staff, researchers, visiting academics, and global leaders who are committed to extending the frontiers of knowledge, beyond boundaries, for society’s sustenance,” Kumar said.
The University has invested in training ethical leaders through its Core Values that emphasise character and skills to develop the total human being. Hensard’s 12 Core Values are to guide students to become responsible, ethical, honorable citizens, leaders, and servants to God and humanity, as encapsulated in Hensard’s motto, “Qui Servit Homo, Servit Deo” (He who serves man, serves God).
“Hensard graduates will enjoy continued mentorship and support in establishing businesses of their own through the Hensard University Business Support Programme. We invite you to benefit from the Hansard Advantage,” Kumar said.