By Ushang Ewa
The several issues faced by the Cross River University of Technology (CRUTECH) following face offs with the institution’s unions and the state government over money matters, may be pushing the Vice Chancellor, Professor Owan Enoh to risk prosecution for funds diversion in trying to secure accreditation of programs run by the varsity.
Events leading up to the arrival of the accreditation team were covered by CrossRiverWatch with the non availability of funds a topical issue with recent findings suggesting that Owan Enoh took drastic decisions to ensure the 28 programs scheduled for accreditation had at least the minimum requirements required by the National Universities Commission NUC.
CrossRiverWatch gathered from reliable sources that the sum of 350 million Naira was required with the institution’s management tendering a detailed request of the need of each program to the past administration of the state led by Senator Liyel Imoke, which he approved on the 5th of May, 2015 a few weeks to handing over to the incumbent, Senator Benedict Ayade.
A memo was reportedly sent to the State Accountant General to release the required funds which as at the time of filing this report has not been done according to sources in government and the institution.
Sources within the institution say Owan may have dipped into the Education Trust Fund with the hope of paying back when the state government pays it bills.
This according to one source “is evident in the fact that work has stopped in the buildings this money was meant for”.
The source also stressed that it is considered a serious offence to divert funds especially from ETF as they are stringent measures put in place for the release of the fund which it is claimed CRUTECH is yet to assess up to half of its allocation.
Several staff who will not want their names mentioned complained bitterly about the “political interest that led to the creation of CRUTECH” with one Department Head describing it as a “political university” built by Mr. Donald Duke “to ensure the whole state feels the impact of a tertiary degree awarding institution”.
The accommodation and transportation of the accreditation team alone is said to have gulped at least five million.
The team was split into four for the four campuses with the team in the main campus in Calabar lodging at Monty Suites and about two coaster buses provided to ferry them round.
Those for Obubra lodged in Ugep, Okuku and Ogoja campuses teams lodged in Gomorrah hotel in Ogoja with each team provided a coaster bus.
Owan Enoh is credited to have changed the face of the College of Education, Akamkpa and is reputed for “making good use of available funds for what they are meant for.”
But he is said to be praying fervently that a miracle happens soon before he is petitioned for fraud as it is rumored that he did not consult the Senate of the institution to take such a decision owing to what a staff in his office describes as “his undying passion to see CRUTECH transform into a world class self sustaining University”.
A few weeks to the arrival of the NUC team, the institution’s academic union went on partial strike as it was reported that aside non payment of arrears, it was reported by several media outlets (excluding CrossRiverWatch) that governor Ayade had slammed the lecturers, accusing the institution of producing “half baked graduates”.
The state government is yet to deny this just as the institution is yet to confirm such happening. The strike was called off and examinations began a week later with preparations for the accreditation continuing up to Sunday, September 27, 2015.
Most of the programs got partial accreditation in 2012 with one staff expressing confidence that all will get full accreditation saying “Owan Enoh’s troubles will be worth the while, so we all pray”.
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