The newly inaugurated Governing Council of Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT) has endorsed the decision of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s administration to return the institution to the multi-campus university it was originally meant to be.
Speaking after the Governing Council was inaugurated by Governor Ugwuanyi, at the Government House, Enugu, on Tuesday, the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Council, Godfrey Igwebuike Onah, stated that the state government’s decision was a welcome development that would enhance intellectual growth in the rural areas.
Mr Onah, a professor and Catholic Bishop of Nsukka Diocese, added that the resolution “not only offers it room for faster growth, but also allows it to act as a leaven to raise the intellectual tone of more rural communities in the state”.
The cleric, who spoke on behalf of members of the newly inaugurated Council, expressed gratitude to Governor Ugwuanyi for the confidence he has reposed in them to serve the state, applauding him for “the sustained attention you have paid to education at all levels in the state since you came into office”.
He disclosed that Mr Ugwuanyi’s administration has constructed, renovated and equipped a high number of classroom blocks, both in the primary and secondary schools as well as tertiary institutions, among other remarkable interventions.
According to him, “ESUT has been a privileged beneficiary of this attention in many ways, even in times when harsh economic realities in the state and in the country could have offered you plausible excuses for reducing your support”.
“For this, the ESUT Community is grateful” and “this should not be taken for granted”, he maintained.
The council chairman also appreciated the governor’s accessibility and availability to the council, management, labour unions and student body of the ESUT, describing such uncommon leadership disposition as ‘unparalleled’.
“On our part, we promise you that we shall put in our best. This Council will do all it can, with your usual support, to provide the enabling environment for the University to pursue excellence in research, teaching and learning”, Mr Onah said.
Disclosing further that remarkable successes have been recorded in this regard in the past few years, the Bishop pointed out that “our aim should be to make ESUT a centre for scientific research and innovations that would provide local answers to some of our most basic needs”.
Inaugurating the Council, Mr Ugwuanyi acknowledged the immense contributions of the last ESUT Governing Council, in repositioning the university at a time the institution had multidimensional challenges such as accreditation, infrastructure, staff salaries, and arrears of staff emoluments.
The governor expressed delight at the bishop’s acceptance to offer the state another four years of his invaluable service; to help consolidate on the achievements made so far in repositioning the university.
He therefore tasked the new council to work with the university management to “re-engineer the finances of the institution leveraging opportunities for Grants, Intellectual Products and University Enterprise, as there is a limit to school fees hike and government’s subvention enhancement”.
Expressing confidence that the caliber of membership of the council will certainly change the ESUT narrative positively, the governor charged them to hit the ground running and ensure that the founding objectives of the great institution are fully realized.
Members of the council include Luke Anike (the Vice Chancellor), Jane Nnamani, Nicholas Onyebuchi Agbo, Osita Ogbu, Emmanuel Ezugwu, Lawrence Agubuzu and Ikechukwu Ani.
Others are C.I. Ani (rep. Senate), Frank Asogwa (rep. Senate), Chibuzo Okoh (rep. University Congregation), Innocent Akuvue (rep. University Convocation), Uche Eze (Comm. for Education rep. the Ministry), Suleiman Babatunde Raymon-Yusuf (rep. NUC) and Leonard Khama, the University Registrar, who serves as Secretary to the Council.