STEVE OKO, Umuahia
THE management of Abia State University Uturu (ABSU), has announced a downward review of tuition fees of its students.
Vice- Chancellor, Professor Chibuzor Ogbuagu, who announced this at a pre-convocation press conference, at the school said the reduction in fee was in response to appeals by students and to ensure no desiring Abian was denied an opportunity to acquire tertiary education.
He said the reduction was 20 percent across board, explaining that Medicine and Surgery students now pay N100,000 , while students of professional courses , and normal courses pay N90,000 and N80,000 respectively.
The VC also debunked the rumour making the rounds that a certain governorship aspirant in the state paid one month salary arrears of staff of the institution.
Professor Ogbuagu said that there was no iota of truth in the speculation and enjoined members of the public to disregard it.
He however, admitted that Dr. UcheOgah, had about three years ago, approached the management of the institution for a parcel of land to build an auditorium which he had since donated to the school.
Ogbuagu said the gesture was initiated long before Ogah joined the governorship race , adding that other eminent personalities including the Secretary to the Federation , Senator Anyim Pious Anyim who is currently building a modern law faculty for the institution.
The VC said that payment of staff salary has been from only two sources – the state government, and the Internally Generated Revenue of the university.
He also denied speculations that lecturers and students were leaving the university in droves due to poor working condition and high school fees.
Professor Ogbuagu said that movement of lecturers from the university to other institutions was normal and not peculiar to ABSU.
He said that it was not strange to the university system for lecturers to move from one school to another, contending that himself had been to seven different universities as a lecturer.
His words: “There is no brain drain in ABSU; what we have is normal flow of lecturers , and it allows for solid cross fertilization of ideas”.
The VC said management of the institution had zero tolerance for cultism and illegalities, disclosing that over seven lecturers including a Reverend Father had been dismissed due to some unwholesome acts.
On the proposed relocation of the Law faculty of the university to Umuahia, the VC said the policy was in line with the laws establishing the institution which made it “ a three- campus institution with branches in Aba and Umuahia, while Uturu is the main campus”.
He commended the state government for defraying the salary arrers of staff, as well as federal government for its financial supports through the Tertiary Educatin Trust Fund.
Ogbuagu hinted that some distinguished Nigerians including the wife of Abia Governor, Mrs. Odochi Orji; and former Managing Director of Champions Newspapers and Doyin of Nigeria Institute of Public Relations, De Bob Ogbuagu, would be honoured at the university’s forthcoming 23rd convocation ceremony.