Western Delta University Graduates 426, Confers Honorary Degrees On Emir Of Zaria, Others

Prof. Augustine Ikelegbe, the Vice-Chancellor of Western Delta University, Oghara, has said that WDU is a brand that is reaching for the skies and is redefining the idea of a university in Nigeria.

Briefing the media yesterday ahead of the 11th–13th combined convocation ceremony today at the main WDU campus in Oghara, Ethiope West LGA, Delta State, Ikelegbe said: “We are a proud player in the private university system, which is leading the trail in quality education, the application of audio-visual learning facilities, and the application of ICT and digital technology in Nigeria today. With smaller enrolments and better facilities, emphasis on discipline and character, strict rules of student conduct and behaviour, and stability of the university calendar, private universities are attracting more attention today in the quest for quality tertiary education in Nigeria”.

Beating his chest, he announced with pride that a lack of accreditation woes, bedevilling many private universities, is alien to WDU. He said: “We are up-to-date in the accreditation of our academic programmes, and we have full accreditation in all our programmes, with one exception that is an interim accreditation. We have been successful in the new programmes that we have put up for verification by the National Universities Commission (NUC) and have been granted approval to mount them.”

The Emir of Zaria, a recipient of honorary Doctorate degree, second from left, visited the Ovie of Agbon Kingdom, first from left, yesterday.

Though less than 20 years old, he said that WDU has “significantly expanded academic colleges from three to six, expanded degree programmes, and expanded enrollment.” The university started postgraduate programmes in the College of Social and Management Sciences in the 2021–2022 academic session, and at this convocation, the first set of postgraduate graduates—four in postgraduate diplomas and 14 in master of science—will receive higher degrees. He said WDU will extend postgraduate programmes to the Colleges of Natural and Applied Sciences, Computing, and Law after the National Universities Commission’s verification exercises in 2024.

426 students will receive their first degrees at this convocation, with 18 earning First Class, 147 in Second Class Upper, 218 in Second Class Lower, and 43 in Third Class categories.
Thanking the WDU Visitor, Chief James Onanefe Ibori, for his dependable support and provision of needed facilities, Prof. Ikelegbe said, “The university has developed a Centre for Learning Resources comprising the Main Library and e-Library on the Main Campus, and libraries for the College of Law at the Ijomi Campus, the College of Applied Health Sciences at the Take-Off Campus, and the College of Computing on the Main Campus. In 2022, we acquired a total of 1,605 volumes, in addition to downloading e-books and journals. As of August 2023, the university had a total of 18,885 volumes of books and 1,055 titles of journals.

We are currently deploying the KOFA Student Management System application, which is deployed by many large universities, for academic record, result processing, accommodation, and library access.
We have also upgraded our network infrastructure through bandwidth enhancement and stronger network infrastructure. Leveraging microwave technology, we have successfully linked the Ijomi Campus to the network infrastructure on the Main Campus. In addition, the university website has been extensively improved in terms of improved site navigation, accessibility, user traffic and content, and online relevance.

We have established more laboratories in the Colleges of Computing and Applied Health Sciences, and we are equipping them. We have introduced audio-visual teaching aids and extended WiFi coverage. We are progressively equipping academic and administrative units with computers and office equipment.

We have made remarkable progress in infrastructure, facility, and social service development. On the 15th of April 2023, we commissioned the university clinic, cafeteria, lawn tennis court, and central main signage. We have completed the College of Computing, constructed the back gate house, established the University Clinic and Guest House, re-modelled the main library, undertaken extensive rehabilitations, installed billboards, upgraded most of our facilities, and undertaken an extensive landscaping and beautification programme on the Main Campus. The main campus is now well lit through the installation of 228 units of solar streetlights. Most of all, he said every WDU student resides on campus in fully fitted official university hostels.

He explained that WDU has already started building international collaborations that will set it apart from other Nigerian universities: “We are building collaborations and partnerships in order to enhance our internationalisation and integration into the global tertiary education sector, in order to create international opportunities for staff, institutional networks in research and exchange programmes, as well as partnerships in research and conferences. We are in collaboration with Noida International University in India, while we are still processing the memorandum of understanding with Girne American University in Cyprus. Western Delta University is quietly but firmly blazing the trail. We are building a unique university through effective branding, epitomised by a university dress code, a student mentorship programme, effective guidance and counselling, post-graduation competence training, a strong quality assurance system, and an effective orientation for character, discipline, moral and mental strength, human dignity, and principles.
We have established new directorates to drive academic governance and growth. Academic institutes are now being established to drive research, conduct non-degree programmes, and provide greater academic and technical services and relevance to our region”.

On staff welfare, he said, “Our lecturers have been excelling in the achievement of doctoral degrees and fellowships, as well as attendance at conferences. Our staff is being paid their salaries promptly, and we are achieving regularity in promotion exercises. Our staff has been patient, hardworking, resilient, committed, and courageous.

He said, “We have made remarkable progress in infrastructure, facility, and social service development. We commissioned the university clinic, cafeteria, lawn tennis court, and central main signage; completed the College of Computing; established the University Clinic and Guest House; re-modelled the main library; undertaken extensive rehabilitations; upgraded almost all of our facilities; and, undertaken an extensive landscaping and beautification programme in the Main Campus, now well-lit through the installation of 228 units of solar street ht.”

“For the first time, after 15 years of operations and service, WDU will confer honorary degrees on deserving personalities: the Emir of Zazzau, Amb. Ahmed Nuhu Bamalli, CFR; Amb. Kim Young Chae, Republic of Korea’s Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr. (Mrs.) Ajoritsedere Awosika, MFR mni; a retired Permanent Secretary and uncommon entrepreneur, Mr. Oritsedere Otubu, Chairman of Eko Disco; and Mr. Igho Okotete, Chairman of Pioneer Global Resource and Integrated Energy Limited”.

In commencing the award of honorary doctorate degrees, we are building a new layer and network of friendship, stakeholdership, partnership, and mutual support, which would strengthen our resolve and strides for greater development and contributions, Prof. Ikelegbe explained.