General Abdulsalami A. Abubakar, the former Head of State, and Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, the Governor of Rivers State, have been awarded honorary doctorate degrees by PAMO University of Medical Sciences, PUMS, Port Harcourt.
General Abubakar, who is also the Chancellor and Chairman of the University’s Board of Trustees, received an honorary Doctor of Letters (D.Litt.) Honoris Causa degree, while Governor Wike received an honorary Doctor of Science (D.Sc.) Honoris Causa degree.
The honorary doctorate degrees were conferred on the awardees on Saturday during the first PUMS convocation ceremony in Port Harcourt, for their significant contributions to Nigeria’s development, peace, democracy, and general well-being.
In his remarks, General Abubakar praised Governor Wike’s administration for providing scholarships to students of Rivers descent studying at PAMO University.
The success of PUMS, according to the former Head of State, is an example of what can be accomplished when state governments step in to promote the provision of private education in their individual states.
He encouraged the Federal Government to provide equal support to private universities through the Tertiary Education Trust Fund and other government entities via various initiatives that are currently only available to public universities.
In his acceptance address, Governor Wike stated that the administration and people of Rivers state are overjoyed at the formation of PUMS and the numerous opportunities it has provided for young people in the state to become highly educated and skilled medical professionals and practitioners.
According to him, the state government has had a tight, symbiotic, and mutually advantageous connection with the university since its foundation, identifying with and contributing materially to its constant growth and progress.
“Back in 2017, we instituted a special public scholarship, covering tuition, accommodation and feeding to encourage our indigenous students to take advantage of the University and become graduates and professionals of the areas of interest. We have religiously implemented this scholarship programme for four consecutive years with almost 600 beneficiaries as at the last academic session. Today, I am very pleased to note that all the graduating students of Rivers State origin are scholars of the Rivers State Government educated and trained with public funds,” he said.
“In addition to the scholarship, which now costs well over 2.9 billions of Naira to implement annually, we have also made several generous financial donations towards the infrastructural development of the University.”