Daily Champion (Lagos)

4 January 2010

Nigeria: Akwa Ibom Varsity Set for Academic Activities

Akwa Ibom State University (AKSU) will take off this 2009/2010 session, the Commissioner for Education, Dr Nse Abasi Akpan, has said.

Akpan said in Uyo that this was contrary to the insinuations that government was not interested in the institution.

He told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that funds for the take-off of the state-owned university had been provided in this year's budget.

NAN reports that N34.35 billion has been proposed for education, science and technology sub-sector in the state's 2010 budget.

The Commissioner also explained that the amended law of the university had been passed by the State House of Assembly, awaiting the governor's accent.

However, a retired school principal in Uyo, Chief Effiong James, said the delay in the take off did not portray seriousness on the part of the government.

James said that some less endowed states set up their own universities long ago, while Akwa Ibom, with its enormous resources, was foot-dragging.

NAN reports that the delay in starting academic work in the institution was apparently caused by the decision of the present administration to amend the law setting up the university.

It was changed from the Akwa Ibom University of Technology (AKUTECH) to make it a conventional university with a multi-campus structure.

The university was established in 2004 as a technology-based institution by the administration of the former governor, Chief Victor Attah, but till date, it has not admitted students.

The Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Sunday Peters, told NAN that the National Universities Commission (NUC) had approved the enrolment of more than 500 students for the pioneer class.

He also said the university would still be technology-based with the main campus at Mkpat-Enin, while the other two campuses would be at Obio-Akpa and Afaha Nsit.

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