The University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) has said it had instituted various reward systems to motivate academic staff to carry out impact-based researches as well as scientific innovations and inventions.
Speaking at a press briefing held at the Enugu campus of the university to announce activities slated for the 55th Founders’ Day, the Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Benjamin Chukwuma Ozumba, said the measure was in line with its vision of becoming one of the best institutions in Africa.
This came as the institution advised students in various institutions of higher learning in the country, to develop the habit of using bicycles for their intra campus movement and depend less on campus buses, as obtained in the civilised countries.
Ozumba, who was reacting to an allegation that intra movement within the Nsukka campus of the university is becoming a serious problem for the students based on the fact that most of the student’s buses have grown old and beyond repair, said in as much as the management is making arrangements to replace some of the buses, the students themselves should imbibe the culture of owning and riding bicycles within the campus as a means of movement.
The UNN vice-chancellor disclosed that the culture is what is obtainable in civilised countries. His words: ‘In most universities in the civilised countries, students own and ride on bicycles from their hostels to lecture. The fact remains that most our students are not exposed and my administration will strive within our limited resources to devise avenues for our students to keep abreast with developments in the western countries.’
On the reward, Ozumba said the system ranges from cash rewards to payment for publications in Thompson Reuters Impact Factor-rated journals, adding that authors of more than 90 research papers have applied and received their rewards barely six months after the rewards were instituted.
Ozumba said: “The University of Nigeria has continued to make giant leaps in its rankings. The Journals Consortium overall ranking placed our university 2nd in Nigeria and 13th in Africa. With the renewed research fervour of our staff, I am optimistic that the University of Nigeria will be ranked 1st in Nigeria and among the best 10 in Africa within the next two years.
“There is no doubt that the University of Nigeria has, in the past 55 years, contributed immensely to the growth and development of our country in the areas of manpower development, generation of creative ideas and research innovations.
“Looking ahead, I see a university that our country will rely on to provide answers to its technological and policy problems; I see a university that will champion cutting edge researches that will place Nigeria and the African continent as a global force and I see a University of Nigeria that will continue to produce the best brains in Nigeria, Africa and the world.”
He reaffirmed his commitment to promoting his five point agenda namely: staff welfare, students’ welfare, environmental and campus aesthetics, academic leadership and research as well as academic discipline and ethics.
The vice-chancellor continued: “I happy to announce to you that in the past one year, my administration has vigorously pursued our plans, and we have recorded some mileage. In pursuit of students’ welfare, we have boosted regular supply of water in our campuses by sinking boreholes close to students’ hostels to the best of our ability; we have been providing power in our hostels.
“We have been promoting and will continue to promote staff welfare. You may have heard that promotions of our security personnel, which had been delayed for more than eight years have been released by the current administration. We are determined to ensure that staff salaries are promptly paid and their promotions released as and when due.”
The Founder’s Day celebration is organised annually to remember great men and women whose vision, dedication and resilience led to the establishment of the university in October 7, 1960.
This year’s celebration would host the Governor of Enugu State, Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi who would deliver the Founders’ Dignity of Man Lecture titled “Legislation as an Instrument for Social Justice in a Growing Democracy” at the Princess Alexandra Auditorium at the Nsukka campus. (Thisday)