By CrossRiverWatch Admin
His Excellency Sir.
I am moved to write you this open letter to express my desires and the desires of many Cross Riverians as it pertains to bringing development to Northern Cross River State.
There’s a remarkable yearn for a more practical approach towards the development of the state.
My initial intentions was to make a single phase comprehensive proposal, but on a second thought, i have decided to be more inclusive. Permit me to convey our views on this critical issues via this platform.
Sir, I wish to draw your attention again to the Cross River State University Of Technology – CRUTECH, with emphasis on the expansion of the Ogoja and Okuku campuses.
I am sluggish to pen down my thoughts at this point though, given that CRUTECH is on strike.
Sir, the impact of locating a higher institution or a major health facility in a community and it’s attendant infrastructural development and city growth can not be over emphasized.
Anyone who knew Abakpa in Ogoja before now will attest to the development that only two departments, later three, have brought to the place.
In a similar way, it is disastrous for people to be without a “balm” (a good medical facility). Even the Bible asked thus, “Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?” (Jeremiah 8:22 KJV).
I will relate my message in form of imaginations.
Sir, imagine what an expanded faculty of Management Science that will have Public Administration, Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Insurance, Banking and Finance, in addition to the existing Business Administration, Tourism and hospitality Management and Accountancy will do to Ogoja and its environs.
Imagine Sir; What a faculty of Social Sciences that has Political Science, Sociology, Geography, Economics, International Relations and Diplomacy and Psychology will do to Ogoja and its environs.
I understand that Cross River State has limited Lawyers compared to other states. Imagine Sir; A faculty of Law in Ogoja. Imagine the development.
Let me leave it at Ogoja and look at Okuku campus.
The courses presently offered at the Okuku campus are basic medicals.
Imagine the development that will come about with a Medical School for your people, imagine Medicine and Surgery, Pharmacy, Medical Laboratory Sciences and degree Nursing Sciences.
Anyone with the workings of the University knows that new cities will be created from this wonderful developmental gestures.
What are the other benefits of having a medical school?
His Excellency Sir, usually a Medical School comes with a Teaching Hospital. To start with, you will agree with me that there is no good hospital in the entire Northern Cross River State. With the bad roads and long distance, imagine the effects of driving 7 hours with someone critically ill to Calabar or even to Abakaliki or Enugu that is usually a saving grace.
Sir, besides the health benefits of a Teaching Hospital in Ogoja to the people of Northern Cross River State, imagine the job creation effect. Both direct government jobs and the multiplier effect in the society.
We are all aware of your job creation drive in Cross River State going by your large number of appointees. Sir, there won’t be any development in Northern Cross River State greater than this or more impactful if this is actualized.
Landlords will benefit from rent, farmers will have a larger market, taxi drivers, trades men, market men and women, more tax for the government and many more.
In terms of the capacity to hold these Departments, Faculties, and the Teaching Hospital, the Faculty of Management Science in Ogoja will need a couple of buildings to house the new Departments and Faculties. I understand the land is very large to comfortably do this.
For the location of the Teaching Hospital, the General Hospital Ogoja is a great location to start with. It has vast land and relatively large infrastructure as well as it has a central location. The facilities in the school of nursing that is still awaiting reaccreditation is just within its reach.
As to what happens to the present General Hospital, it can be relocated to the present CRUTECH guest house which is presently wasting.
Sir, imagine the massive development that this will result to.
A couple of my friends have referred me to the “technology” in the nomenclature of CRUTECH as a limitation to courses it can offer, I quite agree with them. Yet my response is usually casual…
If the Constitution of the Federal Republic can be amended, the laws establishing CRUTECH can also be amended to change its name from Cross River State University of Technology to “Cross River State University” for the expanded benefit of the people.
We have over stayed in the educationally less developed state category. Not only this, the suffering of Cross Riverians seeking most of the professional courses outside the state is pitiful.
I am usually also referred to the financial implications for setting up this facilities. To which I also respond casually.
Sir, if SUBEB can build multiple structures for so many primary schools across the state within such a short time, a few percentage of such structures is sufficient to kick start this departments.
I am referred also to the burden of salary payments on the State, and many more reasons why this cannot work, but I know that this is very workable.
The above responses of mine is not in anyway undermining the capital intensiveness of this project, but I know it is not beyond reach.
I am not in anyway undermining your capacity to bring joy, happiness and development to your people, I am only sharing my thoughts with you and I know that this will get your much needed attention in the shortest possible time.
Do this for your people Sir.
Peter Ogar Ikibunim is a Cross Riverian thinking Cross River.