By Ushang Ewa
Investigations by CrossRiverWatch have revealed how bad decisions from the management of the Cross River University of Technology (CRUTECH) and lack of attention from the Cross River State Government has led to the current financial challenges faced by the institution.
CrossRiverWatch findings showed that the balances in the several institution’s accounts were recently mopped together by the Bursar under the directives of the Vice Chancellor (VC), Professor Owan Enoh and amounted to less than 2 million Naira when sources say it costs a minimum of 250 million Naira to run the varsity per month.
“It began back when former Governor Liyel Imoke fell out with the then VC Professor Eneobong for employing non academic staff when the directives were for him to only employ staff in the academic cadre” a top management staff said on condition of anonymity.
Findings also revealed that following a strike by the institution in 2010 and 2011, subvention was increased to 169 million per month and following the employment, the wage bill of the institution ran up to 180 million with the remaining sum augmented from school fees and money generated from other sources.
Also, the then Eneobong led administration was spending close to 16 million weekly on diesel to power the main campus in Calabar only which was much to the chagrin of incumbent Professor Owan Enoh when he assumed office with the current price of Diesel meaning the institution needs about 22 million to power the main campus alone with less than 50 percent of the staff quarters supplied electricity from the generating set.
Currently the wage bill stands at about 210 million and subvention remains at 169 million with the varsity’s management at lost as to solutions to the problem.
“The VC is pondering going to the Governor but the question is what his reaction will be because MDA’S are not receiving imprest and the state is the one paying our salaries which forms part of the subvention” a member of the school’s senate told CrossRiverWatch.
“The government is blaming management but even if CRUTECH did not employ non academic staff, back then we had very few professors now the figure has even tripled if not more than that.
” We have more Doctors now, associate professors and what about promotions? We are also losing staff because they are not being paid their honoraria when they travel to satellite campuses. Look at me, I traveled to Ogoja, Okuku, Obubra and throughout last year my honorarium was not paid, I do not want to mention this session, I mean this year and we are already in the second semester!
“The NUC warned about multi campus structure but Donald Duke would not listen and now the subvention needs to go up to 200 million for CRUTECH to be safe financially or we will run into debts and maybe even liquidation because students are not even paying school fees to help matters” the Senate member said.
Furthermore, findings revealed that staff studying abroad and sponsored by the state government may soon return back as they cannot continue due to lack of finances from the state scholarship board and no funds for the varsity to support them.
When asked what can be done to move the institution out of the current situation, a few staff who spoke said that the answer lies with the Governor as the varsity has no business venture that is generating enough funds.
Recently, the stakeholders called for the privatization of the institution by the Cross River State Government if funds cannot be provided to run the varsity efficiently.
Unconfirmed information reaching CrossRiverWatch also suggests that the staff unions are planning to embark on an industrial action.
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