The Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has given the management of Ambrose Alli University a four-year deadline to become the best university in Nigeria.
Obaseki gave the directive on Tuesday at a stakeholders’ meeting at the university in Ekpoma, Edo State.
He told stakeholders at the meeting that his administration was committed to the repositioning of the state-owned university in line with the vision of the founding fathers to be the best university in Nigeria.
He urged the management of the university to attain the set target before it marks its forty-year anniversary in four years’ time.
“In four weeks’ time, we will convey a strategy retreat of key stakeholders to deliberate on the details of each academic programme and faculty to know its relevance and what is required to make the university the best in Nigeria,” the governor said.
He assured that the constitution of the new Governing Council will be done soon and maintained that “The Council will be monitored for two years and if no appreciable impact and improvement is made, the necessary steps will be taken to check the council.”
“AAU is 36 years old but before it turns 40 years, it must be the number one university in Nigeria. If it does not happen, we will hold ourselves responsible as the task is not for the government alone but for all of us present here today. My commitment is to make it happen, but your support is needed to make it happen,” he added.
In his presentation, the Vice-Chancellor of AAU, Prof. Ignatius Onimawo, said since assuming office as the VC, the management has adopted the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to cut cost, waste and reduce corruption in the system.
He said the use of ICT has helped the institution in achieving 99 per cent payment of school fees and added that if the 29,255 students in the school pay their school fees, the institution will realise N2.3 billion in a session.
Prof. Onimawo said the school has embarked on agribusiness to generate more revenue internally for the Institution as her funding is from students’ school fees and the monthly subvention from the government.
The chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) Ekpoma chapter, Barry. Monday Igbafen called on the governor to address the issues of salaries, taxes and funding.
The acting president of SUG Ekpoma, Comrade Johnson Oshobugie, said hostel accommodation is a major challenge for students in the institution.
He said less than 30 per cent of the students population stay in the hostel.
The president of AAU Alumni Association, Prof. Omi Ujuanbi, said the body is setting up branches across the world to enable them contribute to the development of the school.