By Inyali Peter
The standard of education in Cross River State will improve measurably if Cross River representatives in the National Assembly invest 10 percent of their constituency allowances in the sector said Eyam Abeng, the president of Cross River University of Technology (CRUTECH), Alumni association while briefing newsmen recently in Calabar.
“The task to develop the education sector in Cross River cannot be left to the state government alone” said Abeng who lamented that Cross Riverians were not feeling the impact of their national representatives. “What are the National Assembly members doing with their constituency allowances? Abeng queried, If things continue like this we may risk destroying the next generation because of our poor standard of education.”
“I have travelled to over 20 states in Nigeria which includes states in the South West ,South East and some states in the South South geopolitical zones. I have seen how federal lawmakers attract projects to their states owned tertiary institutions especially but here, they don’t seem to have any interest in the education sector.
“We have heard that the federal government is about to commence disbursement of their constituency allowances. Before now information like this was exclusive reserve for government officials but today, we’re all aware. So I want to urge our NASS members to invest at least ten per cent of their constituency allowances in education”.
Abeng who said the current situation is worrisome, noted that lawmakers attracts a lot of federal projects to their States tertiary institutions unlike in Cross River State and called on relevant stakeholders to support the State Government in reviving the education sector which he said will curb criminal activities as; “Many young people involved in crime are suffering from poverty of the brain which is a product of the fallen standard of education in the state and Nigeria at large”.
However, he commended the Vice Chancellor of the varsity for infrastructural development and called for the establishment of an education endowment fund.
(The) “Cross River economy and indeed Nigeria economy can only grow in an atmosphere of quality education. If we must overcome our economy challenges as a state, the government should be ready to invest more in CRUTECH. CRUTECH should be given top priority because if we must begin to look inward for the solutions to our problems.
“Honestly, if not because of the quality of leadership we have now, there would have been no university as CRUTECH again. At some points, the university was like an orphan but we thank God for the VC Prof. Own Enoh who has continued to look beyond the challenges”, he said.
On the fund, Abeng said that, ” I want to reiterate our call for the state government to establish an education endowment fund where all firms operating in the state will be compelled by law to invest one per cent of their profit before tax annually to the development of education in the State.”
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