A government that makes transparency unaffordable makes distrust unavoidable. Transparency in governance is a major ingredient in truly democratic societies, a government that lacks transparency lacks sincerity. If democracy was truly ‘a government of the people ‘, why should the people be left in the dark on sensitive issues that concern them?
The status of the British-Canadian Secondary School Obudu that was recently changed to a university by His Excellency Prof Ben Ayade has left the entire Cross River State in total confusion. While there are speculations that it is a government project, being that it is being undertaken by a sitting governor, others are doubtful of its public ownership as there is no clear bill by the Cross River State House of Assembly backing its establishment. Some are of the opinion that it could be a public private partnership. The true status of the said University has remained nothing but mere speculation.
It has become more worrisome for the people of Cross River North who were hopeful that the two campuses of the Cross River University of Technology ( CRUTECH) situated in their senatorial district will get the much needed improvement and expansion but are now greeted with another twist of events. Recall that Cross River Northern Senatorial District is home to the faculty of Management Sciences in Abakpa, Ogoja LGA and the faculty of Medical Sciences in Okuku, Yala LGA, establishment by His Excellency Governor Donald Duke, former Governor of CRS with Prof. Zana Akpagu as the then Commissioner for education.
It is worthy to note that these two campuses have been left the same way it was created almost twenty years ago. This is because the immediate administration of His Excellency Sen. Liyel Imoke was more interested in putting up the Institute of Management Technology in Ugep which is currently laying fallow with no educational, economical or commercial relevance, despite the humongous amount of public funds sank into it.
The emergence of Professor Ben Ayade and his deputy, Professor Evari Esu, two internationally renowned professors was seen as a catalyst that would propel CRUTECH into international heights, but that is yet to be seen. Last year, the State House of Assembly passed a bill changing its status from a university of technology to full fledged conventional University. This was to expand the institution to a level where it can run globally recognised programmes. However, information reaching us confirmed that the bill is yet to be assented to by His Excellency Prof Ben Ayade with less than four months to the expiration of the NUC deadline . The reason for the delay in assenting the bill is not clearly known but we pray this is not in connection with the new British – Canadian outfit.
The socio- economic impacts of this expansion of CRUTECH on the state and its citizens will be very beneficial. Imagine the faculty of Medical Sciences in Okuku is expanded to include medicine, Nursing, Medical laboratory science and other paramedical courses with the Ogoja general hospital converted into CRUTECH teaching hospital, Cross River will not only have enough medical experts in our hospitals as against the miserable figure we have now, but will become a major exporter of medical services abroad. This will greatly reduce the over dependence on politics and politcal appointments which has become the new order and the aspirations of almost all the youths.
With such expansion more hands will be needed either as teaching or non teaching staff, thereby creating sustainable jobs for our teaming youths, outside the trending social media audio jobs. More students seeking admission into various programmes will be admitted, this will greatly boost commercial activities across the state.
While I respect the views of others who are interested in a new university, be it private or not. I wish to kindly remind them that the quest for a new university shouldn’t undermine the development of the current ones. The affordability of public university can not be compared with a privately owned University. CRUTECH should not be allowed to die so that a new private university can gain patronage.
I have never been a student in CRUTECH but I feel concerned being a passionate Cross Riverian who want the best for his people. I’m always in pains seeing that most of my friends who are CRUTECH finest products are being careless about the affairs of their Alma mata . I call on all CRUTECH alumni to rise up to this calling and save the soul of our only state university,
I appeal to His Excellency Prof. Sen. Ben Ayade, the digitally enterprising governor of Cross River State to kindly assent to the CRUTECH bill already before him.
Cross Riverians all over the world should join their voices let’s resuscitate the dying soul of Cross River University of Technology.
Government come and go but we have just one Cross River. Let’s protect our institutions so that our children’s children don’t end up stranded in dangerous places seeking for admission. Let’s do this out of love for our state, irrespective of political sentiments.
God bless Cross River State!
Agaji Adie Ntamu
Senior Advocate of Truth.