Ranking UNIPORT As Number One University In Nigeria Proves That Vice Chancellor, Prof. Owunari Georgewill Is Truly A Trailblazer, An Extraordinary Visionary Administrator And Superlative Performer – Eze

….Testimonies by the Staff, Students and outsiders about Georgewill and his style of Administration

Erstwhile National Publicity Secretary of the defunct New People’s Democratic Party (nPDP) and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze says the emergence of the University of Port Harcourt (Uniport) as the best in the Nigerian Universities ranking is a laudable feat made possible by the sterling performance of the management team of the institution led by the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Owunari A. Georgewill, KSC, FIIA, FIHSC, FWASOT, DFCIHTMA, who is leading an aggressive campaign for a holistic reform through a carefully crafted action plan targeted at placing the University on the global map.

In a statement made available to the media, the party Chief said uniRank World Universities Rankings & Reviews and Nigeria University Rankings for the year 2024 saw Uniport beating 160 other universities in Nigeria in multiple criteria to emerge top on the list.

The party stalwart who described the achievement as a giant stride in the university’s ambitious pursuit of a pride of place in the global index under the leadership of Prof. Owunari Georgewill, reaffirmed his confidence in the university’s management team to transform the school into a model for other universities in Africa.

Noting that the achievement calls for celebration from people of goodwill across the board, the APC Chief said the Vice Chancellor and his team deserve some accolade for their determined efforts in ensuring that the university is strategically transformed to compete favourably with global counterparts, adding that the quality of leadership adopted in administering the institution has continued to pay off in very appreciable degrees.

He further commended the Vice Chancellor for placing utmost priority on the welfare, growth and development of staff of the institution in areas considered as fundamental to giving the required boost to their career and giving them worthwhile and enduring workplace experience.

The implementation of the modified career structure which brought to an end many years of stunted growth and career stagnation amongst staff of the institution, is a thoughtful initiative that is helping the university deliver on its mandate in teaching, learning, research, community service and entrepreneurship.

Some of the criteria for the uniRank selection include- being chartered, licensed or accredited by the appropriate Nigerian higher education-related organization offering at least three-year bachelor’s degrees or postgraduate master’s or doctoral degrees delivering courses predominantly in a traditional, non-distance education format.

UniRank aims to provide a non-academic League Table of the top Nigerian Universities and Colleges based on valid, unbiased and non-influenceable web metrics provided by independent web intelligence sources rather than data submitted by the Universities themselves.

For the University of Port Harcourt to dust to notable institutions like UNN, UI, UNILAG, OAU etc all established many years ago, it is evident that the VC., Prof Georgewill is not only a trailblazer but an extraordinary administrator with a massive degree of competence.

REACTIONS:

Reacting, Barr. Princewill Dike a highly respected Social Critic in Rivers State highlighted, “Prof. Owunari Georgewill is evidence of an administrator who came prepared.
To assess his excellent performance in UniPort is like telling a man to write a story on an elephant. Confusion! Because every part of the proboscidea is humongous, so are the strides of Owunari Georgewill, which traverses all the sectors in UniPort.

Proverbs 29:2 tells us this:

“When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.”

Prof. Owunari Georgewill exemplified the foregoing of a righteous man in leadership. Both the students, the academics, the non-academics and the host communities, even the general public are rejoicing under the administration of Georgewill in UniPort. Never has it been so in the annals of that ivory tower. Do you know why?

Because a Godly who understands the epistemology cum logic of university administration is the the saddle. Not only is he humane but also, has infectious humility. The Vice Chancellorship is just a stepping stone for him, for he has acquitted himself creditable!

Comrade Princewill A Dike, Esq, DSSRS was an elected Student Union PRO of UniPort 97/98 and later elected President of the self-same university in 99/2000.

Taking a clue from Barr Princewill, the Dean of Students Affairs of the University Professor Chima Chibuike Wokeocha stated as follows, “Prof Georgewill is an exceptional leader whose love and care of both Staff and students is infectious no matter the position of anybody the fact remains that Prof Georgewill is doing great in university of Port Harcourt

Look at the present hardship facing us as a nation, Prof Georgewill as a caring father instituted a scholarship for some indigent student in collaboration with his twin brother, Justice Biobele Georgewill.

Apart from this, he ensured that the university provided students with foodstuffs to help reduce the effect of the harsh economy on them.

Looking at the economic situation where so many students of the university lack food stuff due to the economy, the Vice Chancellor set up a team that will be going from the hostel to the hostel to play a lucky dip game where any student who picks an item like a Rice pack, noodles pack or Tea pack will get the items which can last the students for at least a month

It’s more like palliatives. It is entirely free and his main target is to provide at least 100 students in each hostel of the university.’

This act is the highest demonstration of love that I have ever seen amongst human beings.”

BUT WHO IS THIS AMAZING VICE CHANCELLOR OF THE UNIVERSITY OF PORT HARCOURT

Prof Owunari Abraham Georgewill, KSC, FRSB, London, Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology, an erudite scholar, a respected administrator, author of repute with several publications to his credit.

Throwing more light on the person and personality of Georgewill, Comrade Kenson Ibialabo-Briggs, the author of A Journey into the Creeks described Georgewill thus: “He is a man humble and kindhearted. An encounter with him will let you know his nature and true character. Very intelligent, yet doesn’t pride in his achievements. Befriends all, and his relationship cuts across status, levels and lines. He relates freely with the poor as much as he does with the rich. To him, life is just a passing phase and every opportunity given to you should be used to make living better for others and society. He is a man with great vision and passion for the educational advancement of the society.”

Prof Owunari A. Georgewill, who hails from Abonnema, Rivers State, graduated with upper division second-class honours, from the University of Port Harcourt Medical School in 1990, and proceeded to do his horsemanship at the UPTH after which he did his NYSC in Edo State. He began residency training in 1993 and was employed as Lecturer 2 in Pharmacology in 1994. He also obtained a master’s degree in pharmacology and became a professor of pharmacology on May 4, 2010. He also holds a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, Master of Science in Pharmacology and a Doctorate of Medicine in Pharmacology and Toxicology among other qualifications. He is a professor of pharmacology, researcher and administrator.

Services to UNIPORT

In 2010, he was appointed Dean, the Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences, at NDU.

In 2012, he was elected deputy provost of UNIPORT Medical School.

In 2013, he was voted into the Governing Council of UNIPORT as Congregation Representative.

He has published a book, Reasoning in Drug Biology, over 50 original articles in many journals, over 15 abstracts and several research works which took him to many places, including Harvard.

And by Prof Georgewill’s membership for four years (2013-2017) of the Governing Council of Uniport, playing significant role in the affairs of the university and in addition to having served as member of council, Dean, Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences of Niger Delta University (2010-2011), deputy Provost of the College of Health Sciences of Uniport (2012-2015) as well as Associate Dean, Students Affairs (2000-2006) and acting Head of Department of Pharmacology (2006-2008). In all these positions stated above, his exceptional performance and the results were well documented.

Earlier, he was trusted to serve in the Finance and General Purpose Committee of the council, Campus Security Committee of the council, Appeals Committee of the council, Board of Cordec/University Bottling Company, chairman/member, Senate ad-hoc committees; chairman, board of UDPS; chairman, Post-graduate verification committee; member, Board of the Graduate School.

Others were: Chairman, of Departmental Graduate Board; chairman/member of faculty boards; member of the University Senate since 2010; member, of Board of the College of Health Sciences, UNIPORT and NDU; chairman/member, of Nigeria University Commission accreditation terms to universities; resource person to Nigerian Senate on Education summit; consultant to Senate Committee on Education; member of panel on Commonwealth scholarship plan of Federal Ministry of education, etc.

Membership of International Bodies

He is a fellow at the Royal Society of Biology, London; a Member of the International Association of Medical Educators, USA; a Member, the Society of Pediatric Oncologists, Italy; the American Society of Neurochemistry; the West African Society of Pharmacology; Nigerian Medical Association; the Specialist Medical Doctors in Academia; Indian Society of Pharmacology; World Academy of Science; Research-in-Medicine Society; National Cancer Investigation in UK; World Health Workers without Borders; West African Society of Toxicology and fellow, Institute of Industrial Administrators..

In 2015, he served as a commissioner, of the Rivers State Commission of Enquiry. Currently, he is a member of the editorial board of the Asian Pacific Journal.

Multiple Awards

Justice of Peace, 2002, by Dr Peter Odili, then governor of Rivers State.

Knighthood of St Christopher, Niger Delta Diocese of the Anglican Communion, 2008.

Kalabari Chieftaincy in the Abonnema Council of Chiefs, 2009.

Rotaract Club of Port Harcourt Township: Award of Excellent Service, 2015.

Rotaract Club of COE, St John’s: Award of excellence in professional service, 2006.

St Clement’s Anglican Youth Fellowship, Degema: Patrons Shield for service to God and humanity, 2005.

Niger Delta Diocese, Anglican Communion: Service Award in recognition of service and show of love to the Diocese and the Bishop, an epistle written in the hearts of men 2010.

St Augustine’s Anglican Church, Abonnema: Distinguish Service Award for service to God and humanity 2013.

Association of Biochemistry/Chemistry Tech: Award of Patron for vast experience and benevolence service as a sign of confidence as a good leader 2019.

National Association of Biomedical Students: Award of Excellence for generosity, philanthropy, fatherly service and benevolence to students at large 2019.

Port Harcourt University Medical Students: Honours Roll 2019

Grand Nigerian Youth in Ghana: Honour as Patron 2019.

Nyemoni Grammar School Abonnema Old Boys 81 class: Commendation for professional achievements and doyen of prestigious class, 2019

Kalabari Kengema Ikia Ogbo of Abonnema: Award of Excellence as a worthy medical icon of good service for contributions to the development of the Abonnema community over the years 2012.

Port Harcourt Rotary Club: Conferment of Honorary membership for service to God and humanity, 2014.

International Institute of Professional Security: Best security supporting personality, South-south, 2014

The York City Choir Abonnema: Living Legend of Music Award for assistance and encouragement to choristers and the church of Christ, 2011.

Man ‘O’ War, University of Port Harcourt Command: Award of Excellence for remarkable contribution to humanity and the command, 2005.

Port Harcourt University Medical Association and Port Harcourt University Medical Graduates Association: Distinguished Alumnus Award for inspiring and contributing to the sustenance of PUMSA and its alumni association, PUMGRADA, 2017.

Nigeria Red Cross: Special award as a life member in recognition for contributions to society and humanity, 2013.

National Union of Izon Ibe, Ijaw Worldwide: Award of Excellence for contributions to the enhancement of education in Ijaw Nation, 2018.

National Union of Rivers State Students: Award of most student-friendly-lecturer, for unending quest to improve the lives of Nigerian youth through various educational support and empowerment 2019.

Youth Leadership Network of Nigeria: Certificate of recognition for Meritorious service, sterling leadership qualities and positive contributions to development, 2018.

St Mark’s Anglican Church, Alakahia: Macedonian Award, 2019.

League of African Development: Merit award of excellence for 2019 distinguished African Patriots’ service as African Patriotic Personality of the Year 2019, in recognition of outstanding patriotism, immense contribution to the African quest for development, and service to God, humanity and Africa 2019.

Snooker Section Senior Staff Club, University of Port Harcourt: Snooker merit award, 2018

Association of Nigeria Authors: Conferment of honorary membership of the association, 2018

Partum Awards recognising creative individuals and organisations creme de la creme awards: Award of Excellence for sterling performance and contributions towards the development of UNIPORT, 2019.

Ghana-Nigeria Awards 2019: Impactful Personality in Health award for great achievements, effective leadership, passion for humanity and consistent efforts in being a positive role model to young people across the world 2019.

FURTHER FEATS BY PROF GEORGEWILL

Prof. Georgewill, while taking stock of the journey so far for UNIPORT under his headship, said the career structure he inherited on the assumption of office defectively restrained some staff of the institution from gaining career progression demoralized those affected.

According to the Professor of Pharmacology, “the career structure of this university has been in the backline for more than fifteen, sixteen years. The old structure was such that some staff didn’t have where to climb to. They get to a point where they’re stuck, with no career channel to progress on.

“We realised the challenge and said it was not good enough. We ensure that all necessary actions and decisions were taken and the varsity now has a new career structure which has well been approved, stimulating opportunities of growth for staff in various career pacts.”

Among other achievements since taking over a few years ago, the UNIPORT VC listed a weekly information update on the varsity, delivery of more infrastructures, a partnership agreement with foreign universities, global partnership on tackling climate change, improved cohesion among management, governing council, senate, staff and students, all of which, he said, has made running the school easier than it could have been.

Worthy of note is the addition of two new faculties to the list of programs offered by the university -the Faculty of Computing and the Faculty of Media and Communication Studies.

On the issue of climate change which poses danger to our world, the VC said the university is working with local and international partners to tackle the menace, including flood and other forms of natural disaster ravaging our planet and particularly, Nigeria.

HOW THE 160 LISTED NIGERIAN UNIVERSITIES FARED ACCORDING TO THE RANKING BY UNIRANK

1 University of Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt
2 University of Ibadan Ibadan
3 University of Ilorin Ilorin
4 University of Lagos Lagos …
5 Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife
6 Covenant University Ota
7 University of Nigeria Nsukka …
8 Ahmadu Bello University Zaria
9 Olabisi Onabanjo University Ago Iwoye …
10 Adekunle Ajasin University Akungba Akoko …
11 Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta Abeokuta …
12 Ladoke Akintola University of Technology Ogbomoso …
13 University of Abuja Abuja
14 Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka …
15 Federal University, Oye-Ekiti Oye-Ekiti …
16 University of Benin Benin City
17 Kwara State University Ilorin
18 University of Jos Jos
19 Afe Babalola University Ado-Ekiti
20 Federal University of Technology, Owerri Owerri
21 Bayero University Kano Kano
22 Federal University of Technology, Minna Minna …
23 Godfrey Okoye University Ugwuomu-Nike …
24 Federal University of Technology, Akure Akure
25 Osun State University Oshogbo …
26 Lagos State University Ojo
27 Usmanu Danfodio University Sokoto
28 Federal University, Lokoja Lokoja
29 Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ikwo
30 Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, Abeokuta Abeokuta
31 Rivers State University Port Harcourt …
32 Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti Ado-Ekiti
33 Landmark University Omu-Aran
34 American University of Nigeria Yola
35 Nile University of Nigeria Abuja
36 Babcock University Ilishan-Remo …
37 Pan-Atlantic University Lagos
38 Redeemer’s University Ede …
39 Bowen University Iwo
40 Benue State University Makurdi
41 Kaduna State University Kaduna
42 Kano University of Science and Technology Wudil
43 University of Calabar Calabar
44 Abia State University Uturu
45 University of Uyo Uyo
46 Federal University, Lafia Lafia
47 Delta State University, Abraka Abraka
48 Taraba State University Jalingo
49 Enugu State University of Science and Technology Enugu
50 Caleb University Imota
51 Nasarawa State University Keffi
52 Fountain University, Osogbo Oshogbo
53 University of Maiduguri Maiduguri
54 African University of Science and Technology Abuja
55 Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umuahia
56 Umaru Musa Yar’Adua University Katsina
57 Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University Uli …
58 Sokoto State University Sokoto
59 Tai Solarin University of Education Ijebu-Ode …
60 Yobe State University Damaturu
61 Federal University, Otuoke Otuoke
62 Veritas University Abuja
63 Ebonyi State University Abakaliki
64 Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Bauchi
65 Al-Hikmah University Ilorin …
66 Ignatius Ajuru University of Education Port Harcourt
67 Imo State University Owerri
68 Federal University, Dutsin-Ma Dutsin-Ma
69 Skyline University Nigeria Kano
70 Bells University of Technology Ota
71 Baze University Abuja
72 Anchor University, Lagos Lagos …
73 Lead City University Ibadan
74 Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University Lapai
75 Federal University of Petroleum Resources Effurun
76 Joseph Sarwuan Tarkaa University Makurdi
77 University of Cross River State Calabar …
78 University of Medical Sciences Ondo City
79 Federal University, Dutse Dutse
80 Gregory University, Uturu Uturu
81 Benson Idahosa University Benin City
82 Niger Delta University Wilberforce Island
83 Elizade University Ilara-Mokin
84 Yusuf Maitama Sule University, Kano Kano
85 Sule Lamido University Kafin Hausa
86 Joseph Ayo Babalola University Ikeji-Arakeji
87 Adeleke University Ede
88 Kogi State University Anyigba
89 Ajayi Crowther University Oyo Town
90 Ambrose Alli University Ekpoma
91 Bingham University Auta Balifi
92 Federal University, Birnin Kebbi Birnin Kebbi
93 Igbinedion University Okada Okada …
94 Madonna University, Nigeria Elele …
95 The Technical University Ibadan
96 Bauchi State University Gadau …
97 Mountain Top University Makogi Oba
98 Gombe State University Gombe
99 Augustine University Ilara
100 Edo State University Uzairue Iyamho
101 Federal University, Gusau Gusau
102 Paul University Awka
103 Plateau State University Bokkos
104 Crawford University Faith City …
105 Achievers University, Owo Owo
106 Akwa Ibom State University Ikot Akpad …
107 Crescent University, Abeokuta Abeokuta
108 Edwin Clark University Kiagbodo
109 Kings University Odeomu
110 Federal University, Kashere Kashere
111 Modibbo Adama University, Yola Yola
112 University of Africa Toru-Orua …
113 Chrisland University Abeokuta
114 Admiralty University of Nigeria Ibusa …
115 Oduduwa University Ile Ife
116 Summit University Offa Offa
117 Obong University Obong Ntak
118 Rhema University Aba …
119 Federal University, Wukari Wukari
120 Novena University Ogume
121 Wesley University of Science and Technology Ondo City
122 Hallmark University, Ijebu-Itele Ijebu-Itele
123 Atiba University Oyo Town
124 Al-Qalam University, Katsina Katsina
125 Federal University, Gashua Gashua
126 Western Delta University Oghara
127 Caritas University Enugu
128 Southwestern University, Nigeria Okun Owa
129 Ondo State University of Science and Technology Okitipupa
130 Glorious Vision University Ogwa …
131 Adamawa State University Mubi
132 Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko Okerenghigho
133 Kebbi State University of Science and Technology Aliero
134 Tansian University Umunya …
135 Salem University Lokoja
136 Kola Daisi University Ibadan
137 Dominican University, Ibadan Ibadan
138 University of Mkar Mkar
139 Coal City University Enugu
140 Renaissance University Enugu
141 Kwararafa University, Wukari Wukari
142 Mcpherson University Seriki-Sotayo
143 Michael and Cecilia Ibru University Agbara-Otor
144 Ritman University Ikot Ekpene
145 Christopher University Mowe
146 PAMO University of Medical Sciences Port-Harcourt
147 Eko University of Medical and Health Sciences Ijanikin
148 Clifford University Ihie
149 Wellspring University Benin City
150 Precious Cornerstone University Ibadan
151 Hezekiah University Umudi
152 Evangel University, Akaeze Enugu
153 Crown Hill University Ilorin
154 Spiritan University Nneochi Umunneochi
155 Arthur Jarvis University Calabar
156 Kingsley Ozumba Mbadiwe University Ideato
157 Borno State University Maiduguri
158 Legacy University, Okija Okija
Un Gombe State University of Science and Technology Kumo
Un Zamfara State University Talata Mafara
Legend: Un Unranked

CONCLUSION:

Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze who amongst others spearheaded the promotion and propagation for the appointment of Prof Georgewill expressed happiness that the Vice Chancellor have proved that he is a great and credible personality and asset to humanity.

Eze expresses sadness that his friend and schoolmate, late Prof Andrew Effemini who was appointed the Deputy Vice Chancellor to Prof Georgewill is not alive to witness what Prof Georgewill have turned the University to. I thank God that where ever he is he will be so happy that Prof Georgewill is living out their vision of making the university the best in Africa.

Eze commended Prof. Owunari for the very many feats recorded within the short period he has held sway as VC and tasked him not to relent in his efforts to break new grounds and give the institution a pride of place in the comity of varsities in Nigeria and beyond.

The party Chief called for more support from staff and students alike to enable the VC achieve more for the institution and Nigeria.