Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has said medical students who are recipients of the Rivers State government scholarship will sign agreement to serve the State for a given number of years after graduation.
The governor emphasised that this policy will enable the Rivers State government reap the benefit of investing huge resources in the training of medical students of the State extraction.
Governor Wike started this at the inauguration of a 500-bed capacity hostel for medical students of Rivers State University (RSU). The project is situated within the premises of the faculties of Basic Clinical Sciences and Clinical Sciences of RSU in Port Harcourt.
The Rivers State governor told the students that a new policy was been evolved concerning the scholarship offered medical students by the State government.
The policy, he explained, will require any students who wants to benefit from the State government scholarship will be required to sign to a condition of serving the State for some years after graduation.
“What we have decided to do now, because let us not train these children and they run away. They must serve the state first. So, we are bringing up policy that if we give scholarship to you and train you to become a doctor, you must have a number of years you must also serve the State.”
Governor Wike said it will be unfair to spend such huge sum of money on training medical students and lose them almost immediately on graduation to other States or countries.
The governor asserted they will have to contribute quality service and add value to the medical sector in the State in order to justify the investment on them.
“We are not training you to go and serve other people. We are training you to serve Rivers State. So, after those number of years you have served the state, you can go to where you want to go.”
He further continued,” but you must sign agreement with Rivers State government that you must also serve the State before you run away. I am not saying you must die here.
“Some of you will be married outside, but tell your husband too there is an obligation I owe (Rivers State) having trained me. Let him come and stay with you here, then after those number of years, you people can move to wherever you want to move.”
Governor Wike also assured that the outstanding scholarship expenses will be paid to the institution before he leaves office.
The governor declared that nobody can fault his administration that it has failed on promises made because they have all been fulfilled.
Governor Wike said he is happy to have accomplished the feat for the Rivers State University and their medical students now have the best of hostel facilities that will contribute to academic excellence.
Providing the description of the project, Rivers State Commissioner for Special Projects, Deinma Iyalla said it was flagged off on 8th December, 2022 and completed in 6 months.
According to him, two blocks of three storey building were remodeled while one three storey buildings was freshly built with 500bed capacity.
In his address, Rivers State Commissioner for Education, Prof. Chinedum Mmom recalled that it was when the Basic Clinical Sciences and Clinical Sciences Faculties were inaugurated that the promise to build the 500-bed hostel was made which has now been fulfilled, graciously.
On his part, Vice chancellor of Rivers State University, Prof. Nlerum Okogbule explained that the hostel has the signature of governor Wike as a quality project, enhancing the physical infrastructure index, staff capacity, and further boosted the ranking of the institution as a world-class university.
In his address, Chairman of the governing council of the University, Justice Iche Ndu (rtd) said with the completion of this new hostel, joined to the existing block of hostel on Olumeni Street in Old GRA, governor Wike has provide hostel accommodation for 900 medical students.
He also disclosed that the admission quota for medical programme has increased from 100 to 200 students, the highest allowed for any institution in the country.
Giving his goodwill message, Rivers State Chairman of Nigeria Medical Association, Dr Ebi Robinson noted that the hostel will improve the welfare and physical wellbeing of medical students, make movement to classes safer for them with the multiplier effect on students academic performance.
The governor, later proceeded to the main campus of the Rivers State University to inaugurate the newly constructed senior staff quarters.
And as a mark of appreciation to his enormous contribution to the development of the University, Justice Iche Ndu (rtd) announced that the management of the institution has named the Senate building after Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike.