– SAYS, THE UNIVERSITY WILL BE CENTRE FOR EXCELLENCE
– REVEALS THAT ROCHAS FOUNDATION HAS NINETY PERCENT, WHILE IMO STATE GOVT. HAS TEN PERCENT UNDER THE PPP ARRANGEMENT.
– INFORMS THAT SIRLEAF JOHNSON, IS NOW CHAIRMAN OF THE UNIVERSITY’S COUNCIL
President of ROCHAS FOUNDATION for Africa and former governor of Imo State, Senator Rochas Okorocha has said that the Eastern Palm University, Ogboko, Imo State, was not established for profit making, but to provide knowledge for Children from less-privileged families across African nations, Stating that, he has nothing else to achieve in life than to see that most Children do not miss education because of the circumstances of their births.
Senator Okorocha spoke at the third Matriculation Ceremony of the University on Monday, December 7, 2020, at the Institution’s Campus, assuring that the University will be Centre for Excellence, in Africa.
He revealed that the University was established under the Private Public Partnership (PPP), with Rochas Foundation and Imo State Government involved, Stating that while Rochas Foundation has ninety percent in the arrangement, Imo State Government has ten percent.
Senator Okorocha stated that, he has remained an ardent advocate of the PPP arrangement in the establishment of Universities, because it would enable Universities skip certain Challenges, adding that Imo State Government also has the option of selling off its ten percent to Rochas Foundation so that the foundation can have one hundred percent ownership of the Institution.
His words “The Rochas Foundation College Ogboko was originally located in this premises. And we had had the plan to establish Rochas Foundation University. We had begun to do that before I became governor. When I became governor, the State government did some of the roads here. And considering what the Foundation had done and what the State Government Contributed, the 90 percent and 10 percent ratio was arrived at. The State government can also sell off its ten percent so that the University can be One hundred percent owned by the Foundation.
“The University is for the highest academic standard. We shall do all within our reach to achieve that. Standard must not be compromised. It is going to be Centre for excellence. One of the best Universities in Africa. My prayer has been that education should be made affordable if not totally free, so that the Children of the have – nots can also have the opportunity of going to School.
“That was the idea behind my establishing the Rochas Foundation Colleges in about Sixteen States in the Country. And today, we have Rochas Foundation College for Africa. And we have more than twenty-five students in all these Colleges. And we have in our record about Six Thousand graduates the Foundation had sponsored to graduate across the Universities in the Country. So, the Eastern Palm University will help a lot in this regard.
“When I was governor, my government had established five other Universities also under the PPP arrangement and they were all licensed by the NUC. But today, only the Eastern Palm University is functioning, the other five Universities have been closed down including the University of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Aboh/Ngor-Okpala, University of Arts and Sciences, Omuma Isiaku Nkwerre.
Senator Okorocha also informed that a new Chairman in the person of the former President of Liberia, Mrs. Sirleaf Johnson has been appointed the Chairman of the University’s Council, adding that the Eastern Palm University has become the first Institution to be established under the PPP arrangement in the Country.
He Continued “In the next academic session, the University will offer 190 deserving students, with 10 from each of the nineteen Northern States Scholarship. And 250 opportunities will be given to the five South-East States, while Imo a lone will have 100, then, the South-West and South-South States will have five students each.
“I am ready to sell my clothes to ensure that Children who would not have gone to School as a result of the circumstances of their births, would go to School. That is the major reason Eastern Palm University was established. And if the Imo State Government can take over the University and do what I am doing here, it will be accepted by me.
He Commended the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Tola Badejo, the Registrar, Mr. Ernest Onuoha and other Principal Officers of the University, for the wonderful job they have been doing in the University within its short period of existence, charging them to maintain the already existing high standard and to ensure that the Institution is not all comers’ affair.
He also asked the University authorities to engage the Students in other activities outside their major programmes.
In his address at the Matriculation Ceremony, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Badejo stated that a total of one hundred and thirty-one Students were being matriculated for the session, and told the students that the only language known in the University, is hardwork, adding that anything short of that, will not be tolerated in the University.