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In the pursuance of the take-off of the University, Governor Alli appointed Prof. M. I. Ogbeide as the Vice Chancellor and Mr. S. A. Kalulu as the Registrar. A firm of Academic Planners with Mrs. S. A. Aluko (Director of Planning at UNIBEN) as its Director was commissioned to prepare a long-term physical and academic Master Plan for the University.
Operating from temporary hired quarters in Benin City, the two principal officers made trips to Ekpoma in search of physical infrastructure for the take-off of the University. With the cooperation of the Onojie of Ekpoma and Emaudo Community, a large parcel of land was made available for the permanent site of the University. Negotiations with the Okpebho Local Government authorities also led to the allocation of part of the Secretariat as offices for pioneer staff. A media advert for academic recruitment tours by the Vice Chancellor. The applications received were overwhelming. The first set of administrative staff to be recruited included Mr. S. O. Utomakili as Bursar, Engr F. O. A. Osawe as Director of Works Services, and Messrs R. O. Okodugha and Dele Arekamhe as Principal Assistant Registrars respectively.
The first academic members who joined its early stage were Prof. V. E. Aimakhu who was the Rector of the College of Medical Sciences and Mr. Polycarp Umoru was a Graduate Assistant in the College of Natural Sciences. These full-time academic and administrative staff conducted the entrance examination that led to the admission of the first set of 400 students. In preparation to receive the students, some disused dormitories at Annunciation Catholic College, Irrua were taken over and modified into temporary hostels. The same was done at Ujoelen Grammar School where additional facilities for cafeteria services were required. The cooperation of the principals in providing these facilities as well as classrooms was very encouraging. Private buildings were rented for use as female hostels and indigenes were very helpful in assisting to meet the needs of staff and students.

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