Nyesom Wike, governor of Rivers state, has given a N500 million grant to PAMO University of Medical Sciences (PUMS), Port Harcourt, the first indigenous private university in the state.

He also promised a five-year sponsorship for 100 indigent students in the state.

He spoke at the installation of Abdulsalami Abubakar, former head of state, as chancellor of the institution founded by Peter Odili, a former governor of the state.

The governor, who stated that the Rivers government has invested more in health care and medical education in the state, said with two faculty of medical sciences in two prominent universities in the state, Rivers will soon become hub for medical training and certification of doctors.

“During our campaign we promised to address the challenge of health care and medical personnel in the state. To run our healthcare programmes, we established at the first time faculty of Medicine in Rivers State University,” he said.

“The addition of PAMO University of Medical Sciences into the State medical universities comes with expounded opportunities for our young ones to qualified professionals in medical field of their passion and contribute to this state idea of educational system.

“With two faculty of Medical Sciences in two universities, Rivers State will soon become a medical hub for training and certification of medical doctors and health professionals in Nigeria and beyond.

“We are glad to have PUMS as beneficiaries of this new partnership and to demonstrate our commitment, therefore Rivers State Government has approved a grant of N500 million to support the development of the university.

“In addition, the state government will also enter into memorandum of understanding with PUMS where we will be sponsoring 100 Rivers State students yearly fir five years.”

Abubakar said the inability of the institutions in Nigeria to meet up with medical-related programmes, led to the establishment of PUMS.

“Over the last decade, Nigerians has witnessed a phenomenal growth of private universities arising from the inability of public universities to cater for the demand of applicants seeking admission every year,” he said.

“Recent reports have shown that less than 5℅ of qualified candidates are able to gain admission into medical Programmes in all Nigerian universities. PAMO University of Medical Sciences will strive to address all these challenges as it aims to achieve global excellence in terms of teaching, research and community services.

“This university is set to produce graduates in different fields of medicine who are not only competent in their professional but also entrepreneurial, ICT driven and that are worthy in character and learning”.

Earlier, in his speech, Odili exalted God for the inspiration to the successful completion and commencement of the school.

Odili applauded Abubakar Rasheed, executive secretary of National Universities Commission (NUC), for his aspiration that set up the institution, federal government for providing them the licence to operate.

He also thanked Wike for his support and encouragement, “and all those who have in several ways contributed to the success of the project”, which he said is a historical one.

“PUMS has set a record in being the university that took the shortest time to plan and establish. PAMO University of Medical Sciences in the first private university of any type to be established in Rivers state,” he said.

“PUMS will produce doctors and medical personnel that will make a difference towards their patients,  and tackle the challenge of poor Medical education in the country.

“The managements of the PUMS are determined to ensure that the vision and mission of founding ab institution that will make a difference and set a new tone in medical education and they will stand out in the discipline way they will apply their knowledge in the care of their patients. They will be humane and empathetic and treat their patients with dignity.”