By adopting a new funding regime based on the needs assessment of the respective public universities, the federal government may have finally found the key to overcoming the infrastructure deficits plaguing the nationâ€™s public universities.
The Vice-Chancellor of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike Abia State, Prof Hilary Edeoga, expressed this optimism at the weekend during a thanksgiving service to mark his third year in office, saying the federal government should be commended â€œfor beaming its searchlight on university development.â€
Already, the public universities are said to be in expectant mood having got the full knowledge of the windfall that would soon flow into their coffers in the new funding regime.
For instance, Edeoga disclosed that MOUAU was expecting to receive a total of N5.4 billion, having been allocated N800 million and N4.6 billion in the first and second allocation of funds under the needs assessment formula respectively.
The MOUAU VC, who is being celebrated by staff and students for an unprecedented feat of using internally generated revenue (IGR) to build 10 hostels with a combined capacity of accommodating 2, 500 students, assured the university community he would make judicious use of the N6 billion when released to the institution.
â€œIn all honesty I donâ€™t feel I have done anything. Iâ€™m feeling that if given the necessary resources, I would do things for which I would be remembered for after my five years in office,â€ he stated.
Recalling the trauma he passed through three years ago when on assumption of office, he was overwhelmed by â€œa lots of abandoned projects,â€ Edeoga vowed that he would not leave any abandoned project at the end of his tenure.
He said with the cooperation of all stakeholders, he had not only completed all the abandoned projects he inherited but added new projects, noting that the only abandoned project still remaining was the Centre for Entrepreneurial Studies being sponsored by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
In his sermon, the guest speaker, Prof. Jerome Okonkwo, who is the Director of Igbo Studies, Imo State University, underlined the need for the university to work in harmony because â€œthere is nobody who is not important in the system.
â€œNo matter the position you occupy, you must dream together with the VC and achieve together with him,â€ he said, adding that when the chief executive of MOUAU dreams alone he remains a dreamer but when others share in his dream, he becomes an achiever.
Highlight of the ceremony was the conferment of the 2014 WASU Leadership award of Excellence on Edeoga by the West African Students Union (WASU) for living the dream through his â€œoutstanding dedication to the promotion of democratic and educational development.â€