By Archibong Jeremiah
The management of Cross River University of Technology, CRUTECH has reacted to the resistance by senior staff to its decision to reclaim the Boys Quarters of the Staff Quarters located within the Varsity campus in Calabar.
The Vice Chancellor, Professor Owan Eno when contacted by CrossRiverWatch in his office in Calabar, said: “Now this is the genesis of the whole matter, you are leaving in a house, 4 bed room, 5 bedroom, 3 bed room whichever.
“You are paying to government, four thousand five hundred naira a month (N4, 500) or call it five thousand (N5, 000) a month for that huge complex. That means in a year you are paying government sixty thousand naira (N60, 000).
“Some sublet their Boys Quarters to students and their junior staff for a hundred thousand naira (N1000, 000) a year; some even one hundred and fifty thousand naira (N150, 000) a year.
“You get the point, now this junior staff who are working, who are worse off economically, they come to management almost every day or every week asking for loans or some kind of grants to go and pay for house rent in town; now what is better, are we doing it for our own good?
Continuing, he added that: “We are not asking you to come and give us the money or relinquish to management so that the people that will stay there pay anything out of it to the management, we are only saying we are working in a system and if some persons in the system are suffering we should find a way of alleviating their own suffering.
“How can you pay sixty thousand naira (N60, 000) and enjoy an accommodation of five bed room flat. That poor junior staff who is suffering, who is being forced to pay hundred thousand naira (N100, 000), can you please offer them help. Besides, the part of security, now if you go to the quarters there is a police man who stays there with his wife in one of the Boys Quarters, he cannot be leaving there freely, he’s paying isn’t it? He’s paying what to who? And how much is that person he’s paying to paying to government?
“Now it is a particular incident that brought about this, the police officer and the wife are always fighting with students who are also renting a house in the same Boys Quarters to the point that one day the students came and mobilized to go and fight and beat up the police officer. Anything that happens when they break law and order, who will be held responsible?
“It is me or the management of the University, so the first principle we said let all the Boys Quarters be vacated. Be it student or staff on account of security challenges, now we have outsiders who are leaving there. Secondly if they have vacated, to help our own junior staff, they are not going to pay any money to the University, we are not going to make any money out of it. We said help one another, don’t extort one another.”
He described the situation where one is paying sixty thousand naira (N60, 000) to the government and somebody else is paying one hundred (N100, 000) or hundred and fifty thousand naira (N100, 000) as outrageous.
Stating that, “As the management we are only being considerate to those junior staff who don’t have anything and who are being exploited, it came out of the management meeting, we are not evil. I mean the very best for the University, it’s in my nature”.
The Registrar, Gabriel Beshel who walked in during the discussion added that, “Even the robbery incidents in the campus we have traced some to the Boys Quarters. There are criteria to leave in the staff quarters and anyone who merits it will get it, we don’t encourage exploitation”.
As to the school fees of the institution which students say it’s on the high side, he maintained that “Ours is the cheapest compared to other of our contemporaries”.
It will be recalled that the senior staff of the school have been at logger heads with the school management, threatening to resist the directive by management to them to relinquish their boys quarters to junior staff.
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