EXPANSION OF INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT: CONSTRUCTION, SUPPLIES AND REHABILITATION.
•Renovated the Senate Building of the University to international standard.
•Renovated the Vice-Chancellors Official Residence (Ebenezer Lodge).
•Completed the renovation work in all students Emergency Hostel, including Sam Mbakwe hostel in Uturu Location.
•Completed Algon Hostel, which was started in 2002 but later abandoned.
•Construction and renovation of hostels and classroom buildings in Umuahia location of the university.
•Constructed the Medical Students Hostel.
•Constructed the Pathology laboratory for the departments of Microbiology, Chemical Pathology, Hematology, Pharmacology and so on.
•Procurement and installation of a brand new 65KVA generating set for students hostel in Aba location of the university.
•Construction of ultramodern 300 capacity hostel (New Hostel) in Uturu location.
•Renovation of Biochemistry department laboratory.
•Renovation of Microbiology department laboratory.
• Relocation of the faculty of Law to a more conducive environment at the state capital, Umuahia.
• Construction of Public health department laboratory.
•Establishment of an Accounting Laboratory in the Department of Accountancy.
•Connection of the university to national electricity power. (National Grid)
• Supply of library books to faculties.
• Supply of 2000 lecture theatre seats with swivel writing pads.
• Supply of (500) 8-spring double bunk beds and (3000) 8-spring mattresses.
•Procurement of (1) 40-seater bus (2) Toyota Hilux and (1) Hiace bus.
•Construction and equipping of Faculty of Engineering Laboratory/Workshop.
•Construction of e-library for the faculty of Law.
• Construction of ultra-modern laboratories for the college of Medicine, Aba.
• Refurbishing and completion of abandoned building for department of Fine Arts and Mass Communication.
• Attraction of the New Students Union Government Secretariat Complex built and donated by the Governor, Okezie Victor Ikpeazu, PhD.
•Attraction of nine (9) brand new vehicles from the Governor of Abia State for the Provost, & Deans of Faculty.
•Attraction of the ongoing 40bedroom ABSU ALUMNI Guest House at Uturu location of the University, etc.
On SECURITY, Professor Ikonne
• Improved Security on Campus by prioritizing the training and retraining of personnel.
• The issue of acute shortage of security personnel was addressed with the recruitment of competent personnel.
• Provision of serviceable patrol vehicles mounted with relevant security accessories/equipment.
• Launching of new security outfit.
• Re-enforcement of internal security with the introduction of joint patrol security team.
• Securing approval for the establishment of a military security post at the up-gate side of the university to checkmate violent crimes on campus and its environs.
For the ALUMNI, Professor Ikonne established a robust relationship with the University Alumni Association and this led to the:
• Inauguration of the United Kingdom and United State branches of the university by the Vice-Chancellor.
• Donation of 94 (Ninety-Four) sets of modern all-in-one computers.
• Renovation and furnishing of over 4 departmental libraries and conference rooms, donation of books, hospital and laboratory equipment, endowment of awards and prices for best graduating student in various discipline by the alumni.
• Construction of Frank Akpuaka Students Centre.
• Ongoing construction of a 20-bedroom ABSU-ALUMNI Guest House and the construction of ultra 40 bedroom Postgraduate Hostel.
Dee, on CURRICULUM OFFERINGS/ACADEMIC VISIBILITY, Prof. Did the following:
• Expanded the academic curricula by the introduction of new and marketable programmes like Pharmacy, Public Health, Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical and Electronics Engineering, Computer Engineering, Surveying and Geo-informatics, Anatomy, Physiology, Information Communication and Technology.
•Revived the Centre for Igbo Studies with the hosting of the first ABSU Cultural Day and Hosting of a National Conference of the Igbos since 1970.
• Increased the number of faculties from 10-14.
• Increased the quota for Admission given by JAMB.
• A hundred percent accreditation of programmes by the National Universities Commission (NUC).
• Establishment of a ranking and visibility committee.
• Establishment of the Directorate of Law and Justice.
• Establishment of the university Book House, where printed materials for students receive approval by the Book Review Committee. Each Material, when printed is sold at the Book House at an agreed cost, with the author receiving his/her royalty. This, among other benefits help to preserve and enhance the prestige of the teaching staff.
•Setting up a Quality Assurance & Ethics Committee which acts as the “Ombudsman” of the University to ensure quality teaching and highly improved service delivery by all categories of staff.
Improved Academic discipline, prompt online registration of courses and release of student examination results.
•Re-Organized the university outreach programmes (Institute for Distance Education (IDEA) and (Sandwich) for greater efficiency and setting up the Institute for Continuing Education (ICE).
On SUSTENANCE OF EXCELLENCE IN TEACHING, LEARNING AND RESEARCH, His footprints are as follows:
• Sustained increase in the tempo of academic activities like Faculty conferences, public lectures, departmental lectures.
•Established a robust research-oriented administration with professors leading several research teams.
•Introduction of functional website for the university, e-senate, and the establishment of online transcript unit.
•Provision of functional work station in all Faculties and Departments.
• Rekindled the moribund inaugural lecture series of the university, by having 37 Inaugural lectures and one special lecture, as against nineteen (19) Lectures in 37 years of the existence of the University in 5 years (1981-2020)
• Attracted the Sponsorship of 38 research topics by TETFund at the inception of his administration in 2016 and 43 topics in 2019, which has made the university a beehive of research activities.
On STAFF AND STUDENTS’ WELFARE, He maintained
• Prompt payment of staff salaries and pensions.
• Regular promotion of staff.
• Uninterrupted peace and stability on campus attributed to proactive interaction with students.
• Unprecedented swift response to issues affecting students.
• Enthusiastic about set targets for addressing complaints.
• Adding value to the hostels through, tiling, re-piping, re-wiring, constant supply of cleaning materials, evacuation of sewage, de- silting of soak-away ,delivery of over 3000 mattresses and other municipal services.
• Easing of obtaining accommodation in the hostels through an electronic platform that is linked to the payment portal.
On DEVELOPMENT AND EXPANSION OF ABSU PRODUCTIVE CAPACITY AND CONSUMER SERVICES, Prof
• Introduced ABSU table water ABSU Loaf.
• Restructured ABSU Microfinance Bank to provide enhanced community services across its environs and the state at large.
• Upgraded and optimized ABSU Bookshop.
On COLLABORATION AND LINKAGES BETWEEN 2016 TO 2020, he linked ABSU to:
•State University of New York for staff and student exchange programmes, collaborative research in optometry and vision science.
•University of Mexico on joint research activity for staff and students of both institutions.
•Oxford University, United Kingdom, for a collaborative relationship in academic exchange programme between Oxford University and Abia State University.
•Clarion Call Incorporated, U.S.A based company for establishment of a Health and fitness centre and exposure to Research Sponsoring International Organizations.
•National Mathematical Centre, Abuja, for exchange programme in the enhancement of teaching and learning of Mathematical Science, with the ultimate intention of establishing Abia State University as a Zonal Centre for the training of Mathematics teachers within the South-East and South-South Zones.
•National Office of Technology and Promotions (NOTAP) under the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology and Promotions for workshops on writing of Award-winning Research Proposals with ultimate aim of opening an office here called Intellectual and Technology Transfer Office (ITTO)
•ETMP, a Malaysian based company for the establishment of Entrepreneurial Skills Acquisition Training Programme for our regular students and long term training for the public, with industrial attachment in home country industry, in line with State Government programme on Education for Employment, etc.
before he left, the following PROJECTS were Ongoing.
• Construction of ultra-modern office complex for senior teaching staff.
• Construction of Department of Anatomy Complex at the Uturu location of the university
• Construction of Faculty of Engineering Complex at Osisioma, Aba.
• Construction of Department of Pharmacy Complex at the Uturu location of the university
• Construction of Department of Physiology Complex at the Uturu location of the university.
• Construction of Department of Optometry Complex at the Uturu location of the university
• Construction of 40 bedroom Post graduate hostel.
By Ahamefula Israel