Did the Cross River State governor, Prof Ben Ayade build the British-Canadian University, Obudu with state funds with the aim of converting same to his personal property?
Or is it true that the governor has converted the university which costs the people of Cross River about N9.3 billion as at January this year, to his own private university? If the university is not Ayade’s private university, then which person owns it?
Early this week, the federal government announced the approval of 37 new private universities for the country. Although the list of the new universities was not made public, Ayade himself announced on Tuesday during a live television interview monitored by TNN, that the British-Canadian University was among the private universities that were licensed to operate.
Government officials have since exercised caution in talking about the development. On Thursday, TNN spoke with the state commissioner for information, Eric Anderson on the ownership controversy.
The commissioner admitted that the university was constructed with funds from the coffers of the federal government. But when asked to explain the ownership status, he referred our correspondent to the commissioner for education, Dr Godwin Amanke.
But there was no response to all the calls made to Amanke. He neither picked nor responded to the calls.
During the television interview, Ayade had, in one breadth, given the impression that the university
was one of the major achievements of his government. But whether it was a slip on his part or not,
the governor said in another breadth, that the university was part of the 37 private universities
approved by the federal government.
Only recently, the governor had brought the Chairman and Founder of Coscharis Group, Dr. Cosmas Maduka to the state, and showed him round the university complex, saying it was part of efforts to convince Maduka to invest in the school.
“We want to encourage him to invest in the British-Canadian University we are building. As a core investor, as a man with credible track record, a man who has a history of consistent success from start to finish, to where he is today, we believe that a handholding with him will bring great success to Cross River State. That is basically the philosophy that underlines our decision to have him go through all of our projects,” Ayade had said.
At another event, Amanke had confirmed that the state government built the university as part of efforts to reduce medical tourism, even as he had confirmed that N9.3 billion had been spent on the school by the state government.