Chiemeka ADINDU, Calabar
Following the appointment of Professor Augustine Oko Angba as the substantive vice chancellor of the Cross River University of Technology, CRUTECH by the state governor, Professor Ben Ayade, the university community has listed their expectations from the Vice Chancellor, while at the same time appreciating the governor for the appointment.
The appointment came after over 15 months that the state owned university was without a substantive vice chancellor, which has raised many issues in the institution. Many concerned individuals have also wondered the fate of the university as the situation has caused many setbacks academically and in infrastructural developments.
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Speaking with TNN, chairman of Non Academic Staff Union of the University, NASU, William Ibok, expressed satisfaction at the development. He believed the appointment will bring a lasting solution to many of the challenges the institution is currently facing which he says range from non payment of salaries, inconsistent academia activities, high rate of unemployment, lack of infrastructural development among others.
He said “anything that is long overdue, when you have it, you will thank God. One thing is that we are expecting that real academic activities will commence to conform with other universities in the world where our students will be able to compete with students worldwide. So, likewise the staff, we also have good working conditions.”
Ibok also expressed optimism that the new vice chancellor will perform exceptionally following his antecedent while on acting capacity. He called on the vice chancellor to be proactive in addressing most of the challenges facing the institution so as to take the university to greater heights.
Also speaking with TNN in a separate interview, Chairman of Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities, SSANU of the institution, Mr. Agbong Enya Ekereke saw the development as an answered prayer and liberation for the university. He also affirmed that Angba had the capacity to pilot the affairs of the university considering his performances when he was the acting vice chancellor.
“Within his period of acting, we observed certain changes. So with this appointment, it means new responsibilities. When he interacted with us, we enumerated our problems and he told us to just bear with him that those things shall come to pass; that with our efforts, all of us contributing together, it will be a thing of the past. He is hardworking. He told us that it is not all about TRUSTFUND but that there are other institutions that can be of help. So, hopefully things will change,” Ekereke said.
The SSANU chair also called on the vice chancellor to focus not just on infrastructural development but on human development. He said, “I think he should focus not only in infrastructural development but also human development because infrastructure as it is, is for human.
“Most times people focus on the aesthetics so that people will applaud them without human development which to me, is nothing. If you develop human beings, those things will be taken care of.”