Ebonyi State Governor David Umahi has ordered the Vice Chancellor of the State University (EBSU), Abakaliki, Prof Francis Idike, and other Principal officers of the institution to immediately vacate office having exhausted their 8 years tenure as stipulated in the 2016 EBSU amendment law 005 of 2016 assented to by the State Governor on Friday.
Umahi shortly after assenting to the law at the State Executive Council Chambers, Government House, Abakaliki, stated that with the new law in place, the Vice Chancellor, Deputy Vice Chancellor and other principal officers are expected to vacate the office on or before 26th of November 2016 (today).
Governor Umahi expressed concern over the 5 year two tenure as was enshrined in the law before its amendment noting that any Vice Chancellor may develop brain drain within his 10 years in office.
The governor, however, stated further that the amended law provides for the positions of Deputy Vice Chancellor academics and that of administration which was in the old law but was never implemented by the past administrations adding that the amended law also allows a Vice Chancellor to remain in office after 70 years old.
Governor Umahi also urged the institution management to find ways to downsize the outrageous staff strength in the school to enable them meet up with the economic realities in the country pointing out that the number of staff in the school outweigh that of other tertiary institutions in the South East region.
According to Governor Umahi; “When you look at the staff strength of other tertiary institutions in the South East, you will realize that what we have in our own institution outweighs that of others. In most institution that we have their records, those of them that has between 11 to 15 faculties has about 1400 staff strength but in EBSU, we have 8 faculties with a staff strength of between 2800 to 3000”.
Governor Umahi also approved the gazetteing of the academic and non-academic staff of the institution and noted that with the economic situation in the country, the subvention of the school would be determined by the allocation received by the state government.
Chief Umahi also frowned at the alleged harassment and intimidation of members of the University community by the host community and mandated the Secretary to the State Government, Prof Bernard Odoh, Commissioner for Lands and Survey, Mr. Sunday Inyima, and the Senior Special Assistant on Security, Dr. Kenneth Ugbala, to mobilize Policemen to disperse all illegal occupants in the school land.
Governor Umahi stated that the state government has resolved not to demolish illegal structures in the school land but would partner with the owners of the structures to buy the land and raise the structures to government standard.
He commended the State House of Assembly led by Rt. Hon Ogbonnaya Nwifuru for their prompt response to the amendment of the EBSU law and the smooth passage of the Supplementary appropriation law.
Earlier, the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Ogbonnaya Nwifuru, said that the House committee on Education during its public hearing received recommendations and submission from people including members of the school community before presenting the bill to the Governor for assent.
He said the amended law has cleared all grey areas and put the institution in a part of progress.