THE Council of Traditional Rulers in Cross River State have expressed dismay over the inadequate funding of the state-owned university, Cross River University of Technology (CRUTECH), just as it tasked the state government on the privatisation of the institution.
Paramount Ruler of Bakassi and of the Council of traditional rulers in the state, His Royal Majesty Etinyin (Dr) Etim Okon Edet said this during the annual stakeholder’s forum of the institution, held at the Calabar main campus of the university.
According to the monarch, since the government cannot adequately fund the institution which it created, the only available option is for it to privatise the university, which he said, was currently struggling for her bills.
He said that as the only state-owned university, the government should come up with realistic plans on sustainable funding, adding that the present situation where the institution operate multi-campus system, cutting across the three senatorial district should be reviewed.
The Monarch added, “If government can no longer fund the university, can’t we sell it to private individual who is ready to run this great university? Can’t we reduce the campuses and stop playing politics? What is the need of running a multi-campus university when you can’t even fund one? I’m very sad”.
Responding, the state governor, Senator Ben Ayade, who was represented by the Commissioner for Education, Honourable Godwin Ettah assured stakeholders that the government was committed to resolving the challenges confronting the university.
He noted that, “Although the solutions may not be immediate or hundred per cent, I can assure you that the government is not relenting, but working hard to address the issues you all raised which is not new to us.
Earlier, the Vice Chancellor of the university, Professor Anthony Owan Enoh stated that while it is cogent for government to play her parts, students and parents must support the efforts of government to actualise the dream of the founding fathers of the institution.
He regretted that students of the university don’t pay school fees, noting that only fifty per cent of the current population have paid their fee and out of the 50, only 35 per cent have paid complete fees.
In another development, the Alumni of CRUTECH has urged the state government to set up an Education Endowment Fund (EEF), where one per cent of profits of all the firms operating in the state would be devoted to the development of the institution.
National President of the association, Mr Eyam Abeng stated this during the institution’s annual stakeholders’ forum held at the main campus of the University in Calabar.
Abeng, who was represented by the National Secretary of the association Mr Tony Sylvers noted that with the current economic situation of the state and country, it is necessary for government to be creative and think outside the box on how to generate funds for the university.
While maintaining that subventions from government and the university internally generated revenue which is majorly from fee payment cannot sustain the institution, he stressed that setting up the EEF would be a more sustainable, proactive and forward looking way of supporting the government in addressing challenges of funding infrastructures in tertiary institutions in the state.