Barely four weeks to the end of his administration, Imo State governor Rochas Okorocha has created four new universities and polytechnics in the state.
Concerned academics in the state have come together to kick against this saying that it is reckless and irresponsible on the part of the governor. According to them, this will create disharmony between the host communities if the incoming government decides to cancel the development.
The joint press conference had in attendance; former vice-chancellor, Federal University of Technology Owerri, Prof. Jude Njoku; former vice-chancellors of Imo State University, Prof. Ukachukwu Awuzie, Prof. Chuka Okonkwo, Prof. Obioma Iheduru; former vice-chancellor of Tansian University, Umunya, Prof. P A Ogbonna and former director of admission, Imo State University.
The noted in their press release; “from the architectural, infrastructural and equipment perspective, none of the newly-created institutions meets the basic requirements of a university or Polytechnic campus. They can at best provide spaces for good secondary schools if and when properly furnished and equipped.”
“The NUC is legally bound to license any state university so long as the state House of Assembly has passed a bill. However, we were made to understand that the granting of approval by the NUC does not imply that the institution can admit and run any programme and award certificates. Indeed, such institution cannot admit any student through the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board. The approval was granted based on this understanding.”
“Armed with this development, Governor Okorocha and his team returned to Imo State and with the active connivance of the state House of Assembly, three bills for the establishment of other additional universities were passed and assented to by the governor. With these, they returned to NUC for approval and this was granted them.”
They said that it was an irresponsible act for a governor who had not been able to fund the Imo State University for eight years to establish four new universities and polytechnics.
Rochas Okorocha is set to handover on May 29, 2019, to the governor-elect Emeka Ihedioha.