Esimone Assumes Office As The New Unizik VC

By Izunna Okafor
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It was indeed a moment of encomium and jubilation as Prof. Charles Okechukwu Esimone officially took over and assumed office as the sixth substantive Vice Chancellor of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.

The handover ceremony which took place on Monday at the School Auditorium attracted dignitaries who came from both within and outside the country to felicitate with the duo, including the Old Boys Association of Prof. Charles's alma mater from Cameroon.

Presenting the blueprint with which he is going to pilot the affairs of the school for the next five years, the new Vice Chancellor, Prof. Charles Esimone, whose joy knew no bound noted that he was coming into the job with a vision primed on promoting the highest standard of academic excellence, productive community service, administrative reforms, discipline and advances in matrix of human capacity building, infrastructural development and students/staff welfare.

To accomplish this, he rolled out five strategic pillars and core areas on which his administration shall focus, to include Research, Teaching, Discipline, Infrastructure and welfare. He noted his administration will pursue complimentary collaborations with foreign universities to enable her researchers carry out procedures where they lack capacity, and further disclosed that he will reposition the library with an e-library solution that will interface with the physical library which will enable both staff and students access the library at anytime and from anywhere in the world.

Speaking further, the Akwaeze born professor of Pharmacology said: “There will be zero tolerance to plagiarism, sexual harassment and inducement. A mechanism with be put in place to identify and punish culprits accordingly.

“Productivity would be required of every staff, non-performing staff will be declared redundant and could be shown the way out if they do not turn a new leaf. Productivity bonus will not be mandatory, it will have to be earned.”

On what his administration would do to improve the infrastructure in the university, he disclosed that he would complete the ongoing projects in the school, build new school auditorium and enter into a public private partnership with individuals and organisations to build hostels and improve the institution.

He said: I hereby, in the name of God urge all hands to be on deck to enable us catapult this university from 4,047th position to the top 200 universities in the world in the next 5 years. With your support and by God's grace, we shall get there".

Earlier in his handover speech immediate past Vice Chancellor, Prof. Joseph Ahaneku described the institution as a great citadel of learning which does not only harp on academic excellence, but also focuses equally on building and promoting good character among the students, and as such, must be let out of its present development challenges, which he acknowledged was gradually being alleviated.

Registering his confidence on the leadership ability of the new helmsman in defeating the current developmental and academic challenges of the institution, the university don therefore called on all stakeholders in the university and outside the university to support and join hands with the New Vice Chancellor, in moving the institution forward, even as he charged him to maintain the already build the confidence of the institution.