By Florence Ugbem & Faith Igbudu
It was a roll call of achievements as the 6th Vice-Chancellor of Joseph Sarwuan Tarka University, Makurdi (JOSTUM), Prof. Richard Kimbir bows out of office in a few days.
In his valedictorian interactive session with journalists at the Vice Chancellor’s conference room, Prof. Kimbir pointed out infrastructure as his most outstanding achievement in the last five years, which he said has helped to provide a conducive environment in the University.
He enumerated his infrastructural achievements to include, building and commissioning of the New Anande Richard Kimbir Senate Building, which was named after the VC by the University’s Governing Council, building of the College of Agronomy, two new hostel blocks at North Core, as well as completion of 3 blocks of male and 3 blocks of female hostels.
According to him, the infrastructural projects are; a 1000-seat capacity lecture theatre for the College of Agricultural and Science Education and 500 seat capacity lecture theatre for the College of Forestry and Fisheries, also the reconstruction of the main access road from the university gate to the university clinic among other infrastructural development.
Kimbir maintained that, “my administration’s policies were deliberate in core areas with high potential for promoting human resource development in Agriculture, Science, Engineering and Technology (ASET), through teaching, research, and extension service.”
He revealed that despite the prolonged strike that grounded academic activities, the university still recorded development in various areas of the institution.
Kimbir further revealed that during his tenure as VC of JOSTUM, the institution recorded several milestones in research and academic development. He noted that in the last five years, the institution recorded expansion with additional degree programmes in Bio-Chemistry, Botany, Microbiology, and Zoology among others.
Additionally, he noted that the institution got National Universities Commission (NUC) approval for 13 more programmes in the College of Agricultural and Science Education.
Under his leadership, in the last five years, the VC noted that the university achieved breakthroughs in research and innovations, which include the production of a ventilator as part of JOSTUM’s contribution towards the fight against COVID-19 in the state, design and fabrication of a JOSTUM Baja vehicle, which he said is the first of its kind in Nigeria, saying the project emerged second best at the 5th Committee of Deans of Engineering and Technology CODET Engineering Students Project Competition in 2021.
Kimbir stressed that, “Students welfare was at the front burner of my administration’s priorities between 2017-2022. My administration also took staff welfare seriously which boosted staff morale tremendously. Besides offsetting all pending staff entitlements, my administration graciously granted amnesty to over 200 non-teaching staff of the university with additional higher qualifications without permission to enable them to progress in their careers.”
The outgoing VC, however, stated that despite the successes recorded during his tenure as vice chancellor, challenges such as funding, incessant strikes embarked by university unions, insecurity occasioned by lack of perimeter fence, hostilities from host communities shortage of hostels among others starred him in the face.