Port Harcourt—The Federal Government has promised to immortalise the former Vice Chancellor of the University of Port Harcourt, Emeritus Prof. Nimi Briggs, according to the Punch.
Minister for Education, Prof. Adamu Adamu, disclosed this at a special convocation in honour of Prof. Briggs, organised by the university on Friday.
Briggs was the 5th Vice Chancellor of the UNIPORT and, until his demise, the Chairman, Committee of Pro-Chancellors of Federal Universities, Pro-Chancellor of Federal University, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State and Bayelsa Medical University, Yenagoa.
Adamu, who was represented by the Deputy Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission, Dr Chris Mayaki, condoled with the government of Rivers State, the University of Port Harcourt, the people of Abonnema in the Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of the state and the entire Briggs family over his death.
Adamu said the apex government will institute a suitable memorial to immortalise the renowned Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
He said Briggs will be immortalised in honour of his contributions to the advancement of education and medical practice in the country and nation-building which he described as immeasurable.
The minister further described the former chairman of the Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission as an ‘academic giant’ who lived a remarkable and outstanding life worthy of emulation and urged the family to be proud of him.
He noted that Briggs served the nation with distinction and utmost certification and demonstrated passion to secure positive change and bring out the best in any national assignment.
Adamu stated, “We offer the heartfelt condolences of the entire education family and indeed a grateful nation, including those of the South, management and board of the NUC and the entire Nigeria university system which today comprises 259 universities.
“The unique constituency where late Prof. Nimi Briggs creditably spent most of his productive life, building what has been an outstanding academic and distinguished public service carrier in an active commitment to what he loves most, teaching, research, medical practice and community service.
“There is no way the history of the Nigeria University System can be written effectively and comprehensively without the mention and full documentation of the pivotal and pioneer roles played at various stages by the late icon who by hard work, social and incredible life of distinction which satisfied several secondary and primary teachings and administrative leadership position in academia, rising to the pinnacle of his career.
“Late Prof Briggs demonstrated outstanding intellect, resourcefulness, amazing capacity and energy for work which he brought to bear in the successful execution of his vision and assigned tasks which are too numerous to mention here.
“We recall vividly that as a scholar of distinction, he graduated as a medical doctor in 1969, and was awarded one of the first ever doctor of medicine degrees by the University of Lagos.”
Adamu added that when the National Monument for University Education is eventually built in Nigeria, Prof. Nimi Dimkpa Briggs’ name will be written in platinum and “not just gold because his life was more of service to humanity”.
Earlier, the Vice Chancellor of UNIPORT, Prof. Georgewill Owunari, described the late Prof. Briggs As a visionary leader and a beacon of excellence who has contributed immensely to the academic community and in education development in the country.
Owunari who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Administration, Prof. Clifford Ofurum said, Prof. Briggs during his days as the institution’s VC and Chairman of the Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission demonstrated hard work to promote sustainable peace, development and infrastructural transformation of the university and growth of the society.
In his remark, the Pro-Chancellor, University of Port Harcourt, senator Andrew Uchendu described Briggs as an astute administrator, manager of human resources; an incorruptible and highly detribalized thinker.