Luke Okechukwu Anike, Vice Chancellor, Enugu State University of Technology, receives further commendation for outstanding performance in office.
BY UGONNA ANEJIONU
Testimonies to his outstanding performance within three years in office, has continued to pour in, two months after Verbatim magazine’s report on Luke Okechukwu Anike, Vice Chancellor, Enugu State University of Technology hit newsstands. There appears to be a consensus of opinion that Anike has indeed changed the face and fortunes of ESUT.
His giant and bold steps are seen in the development and improvement of infrastructure, security, staff and students’ welfare, academic content, innovation and also entrepreneurship. The rating of the university has also increased tremendously as students and graduates of the institution favourably compete with others and are at present, rated among the best in the country and beyond.
Leonard O. Khama, the University Registrar told Verbatim that it has been wonderful working with the Vice Chancellor who he described as a mentor, father and a good Christian that understands the job and as such puts his very best into it.
He said the Vice Chancellor is a good team player which accounts for the warm relationship that exists between him and all stakeholders of the University. He said that the Vice Chancellor’s open door policy is unprecedented as he is open to everyone no matter the status and class. He said Anike does not have any restrictions and is ever ready and willing to solve the problems of the University, its staff and students even outside the confines of his office adding that the University is blessed and fortunate to have him.
Khama scored Anike very high in projects and infrastructural development as he told Verbatim that the Vice Chancellor does not only attract projects but also ensures they are finished. He revealed to this Magazine that the Vice
Chancellor was appointed when project attraction was so difficult and almost impossible because of recession and the biting economic situation then and expressed surprise that he was able to surmount the challenges to leave structures and other legacies at ESUT.
He told this magazine that the Vice Chancellor started by recovering dilapidated structures like the abandoned Old Refectory which he rehabilitated and converted to the faculty of pharmaceutical studies. He said the Vice Chancellor also recovered the two professional duplexes that were abandoned as well and allocated them to the entrepreneurship development Centre and biotechnology Centre.
On the other hand, he said the Vice Chancellor inherited the AfriHub ICT Centre uncompleted but completed and equipped it to standard through his resourcefulness and sheer ingenuity.
He told Verbatim that the Vice Chancellor inherited about 15 Tetfund/Needs assessment/Presidential intervention/High impact projects on appointment in 2015 adding that about eight of them have been completed and handed over to the University because of the rare ingenuity diplomacy of the Vice Chancellor.
Khama said every insider and stakeholder of the University is excited at these landmark achievements as he said it requires great diplomacy and great persuasion to get the contractors and funding agencies back to site even when they were crying and complaining about the then recession and economic crunch in the country adding that five more of such projects are nearing completion and will be ready within the next 4 months.
Khama in addition said the Vice Chancellor on his own attracted some magnificent projects like the ICT Centre by SNEPCO/Mobil Nig. Plc. This project he said is about to be handed over to the University. The Multi Billion Naira Centre for Excellence/Central Laboratories which was started by the Central Bank of Nigeria but abandoned for about seven years according to him is nearing completion. He told this Magazine that because electricity from the national grid is not steady in the University, the Vice Chancellor moved to install Solar Powered Street lights all over the University campus to checkmate associated dangers especially at nights. He said this move has boosted sanity and also encouraged students of the University to move freely within the campus without any fear or threat.
He said that ESUT was almost nowhere in the committee of schools both nationally and internationally, but has come from behind to be the first and best State owned University in Nigeria and also the 17th best University in the country today. This he said Anike achieved in the first year of his appointment. He pointed out that the University is still making progress in both academic excellence and technology adding that a staff of the University was recently honoured by the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology at Eagle Square in Abuja for developing high tech equipment that converts fire from coal, charcoal and other heating sources to electricity. This application he said can be used anywhere as it is very portable.
Another major technological breakthrough recorded by the University as he pointed out is fabrication of most laboratory equipments by the Faculty of Medicine and Anatomy. These equipments which he said are produced with locally sourced materials were hitherto imported into the country with millions of dollars adding that the school can supply those equipments to Nigeria and Africa if properly encouraged and funded.
All these achievements he said were made possible by the support of the Vice Chancellor who in turn is encouraged by the State Governor who is the visitor to the University and the people he chose as members of the University governing council adding that he is very confident that the University will be one of the best Universities in the world before the Vice Chancellor ends his tenure.
Jane Francis Anike, a third year student of Agronomy and the first female treasurer of the Students’ Union Government (SUG) of the Institution described the Vice Chancellor as a highly principled and loving man and also the most student-friendly Vice Chancellor the University has ever had. She said the Vice Chancellor always advice the students on how to be useful to the society and also encourage them to participate in other programmes and activities like the World Women Conference which the Vice Chancellor supported her to attend in Calabar, Cross River State around April, 2018.
Jane Francis added that the Vice Chancellor has totally secured ESUT and gives the students the very best and all that they deserve adding that his foot prints will remain indelible in ESUT.
During a chat with Verbatim in his office recently, Anike said, “I want to be placed on the hall of fame of ESUT and Nigerian Universities for playing my role in making the University Project work in Nigeria. I also want those behind to tell our story”.