By CrossRiverWatch admin
The Cross River State governor elect, Senator Ben Ayade has appealed to lecturers of the Cross River University of Technology, CRUTECH, to do him a favor as their colleague and reopen the institution so that they can give him the opportunity to return to the negotiation table with them.
Ayade who spoke with CrossRiverWatch in an exclusive interview said he has had an extensive discussion with the incumbent governor, Senator Liyel Imoke over the lingering issues and has a proper grasp of the situation. He promised to make efforts that will ensure the school becomes self reliant.
The incessant disruption of the academic calender of CRUTECH has continued with the latest strike which has kept the students at home now for over 4 months. This is definitely affecting the reputation and products from the school. You and your deputy are both Professors, people who should have a soft spot for education, have you made any effort to intervene in the lingering crises and what will you be promising the students as you take over the reins of power Sir?
Basically, I have had an extensive discussion with the sitting governor and I have a clear picture of the situation and challenge and I think it is very clear for me that, the University board recognises that as an institution which is owned by the state, the state can only manage them through a subvention and as we speak, there is a subvention of 159million naira from the state government in addition with the school fees that they earn.
Unfortunately from the position of the school management, that does not carter for their allowances and other things. Unfortunately also from the part of government, that figure is even suffocating to meet. And the figure was much less in previous governments. It is only in Senator Imoke’s government that the figure was moved to 159million as subvention. So he is even taken aback that he who tried to take the subvention higher has suffered even more complaints.
So, somehow there is a bit of frustration on both sides. So my role therefore is to see how we can convert CRUTECH as a technology institute, to really ensure that they sell their technology at market value. Probably provide them a venture capital and allow them have some financial autonomy with that subvention. We will do a detailed analysis of the situation, if that subvention is adequate, then we can only provide them venture capital to give them full autonomy to go into investments.
University of Ibadan has a University hotel, they have a consultancy service, they have a university press, I can go on and on, so we must ensure that CRUTECH also has an alternative income base if the revenue from government becomes minimal. If the subvention is adequate and we think that all they need is just a little support to keep them on their feet, we will do so.
But you know also that the curriculum needs to be reviewed to provide more interesting and fascinating courses. I will encourage people to come in there because if the fees take in was much and if their students population was good enough, probably what they will be earning from the fees will just be adequate by the time they add the subvention, but where they are now, I need to do my own thorough work when I assume office to be able to come out with a clear picture.
As it is now, all I can say is that the lecturers must realize that their primary obligation is educating the younger generation and so even though they have some allowances that are yet to be resolved and paid, I will expect that as soon as I come in as their colleague, they will do me the honor of quickly resuming to allow us be on the negotiation table.
Full interview to be published in the May 29, 2015 hard copy edition.
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