Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has given N500 million grant to PAMO University of Medical Sciences (PUMS), the first private medical institution in Nigeria.
At the formal installation of General Abdulsalami Abubakar as the Chancellor of PUMS on Friday, Governor Wike committed the said sum to sponsor 100 indigent students of the state in the institution yearly in the next five years.
PUMS, which is the first indigenous private university in the state located in Port Harcourt, had announced full commencement of academic and non-academic activities yesterday.
Speaking at the event, Wike expressed confidence that with the addition of two faculty of Medical Sciences in two prominent universities in Rivers, the state will become a hub for medical training and certification of doctors in no distant time.
He said “During our campaign we promised to address the challenge of health care and medical personnel in the state. To run our healthcare programmes, we established at the first time faculty of Medicine in Rivers State university.
“The addition of PAMO University of Medical Sciences into the State medical universities comes with expounded opportunities for our young ones to qualified professionals in medical field of their passion and contribute to this state idea of educational system.
“With two faculty of Medical Sciences in two universities, Rivers State will soon become a medical hub for training and certification of medical doctors and health professionals in Nigeria and beyond.
“We are glad to have PUMS as beneficiaries of this new partnership and to demonstrate our commitment, therefore Rivers State Government has approved a grant of N500 million to support the development of the university.
“In addition, the state government will also enter into memorandum of understanding with PUMS where we will be sponsoring 100 Rivers State student’s yearly fir five years,” said the governor.
On his part, PUMS newly installed Chancellor, Abubakar, said the university has come to fill the gap left by most institutions in the country.
He decried the inability of most Nigerian public universities to provide standard medical related programmes.
Abubakar said, “Over the last decade, Nigerians has witnessed a phenomenal growth of private universities arising from the inability of public universities to cater for the demand of applicants seeking admission every year.
“Recent reports have shown that less than 5℅ of qualified candidates are able to gain admission into medical Programmes in all Nigerian universities. PAMO University of Medical Sciences will strive to address all these challenges as it aims to achieve global excellence in terms of teaching, research and community services.
“This university is set to produce graduates in different fields of medicine who are not only competent in their professional but also entrepreneurial, ICT driven and that are worthy in character and learning”.
Speaking also at the event, former Rivers State Governor and proprietor of PUMS, Dr Peter Odili, thanked God and the Executive Secretary of National Universities Commission, Prof Abubakar Rasheed, for the successful commencement of activities at the university.
He said, “It has set a record in being the university that took the shortest time to plan and establish. PAMO University of Medical Sciences in the first private university of any type to be established in Rivers State.
“PUMS will produce doctors and medical personnel that will make a difference towards their patients, and tackle the challenge of poor Medical education in the country.
“The managements of the PUMS are determined to ensure that the vision and mission of founding ab institution that will make a difference and set a new tone in medical education and they will stand out in the discipline way they will apply their knowledge in the care of their patients. They will be humane and empathetic and treat their patients with dignity.”