Senator Uche Chukwumerije
Senate Committee on Education has expressed dissatisfaction over the poor funding of federal universities, saying that it has become a recurring decimal every fiscal year.
The chairman of the committee, Senator Uche Chukwumerije, made this known yesterday when he led members of the committee on oversight visit to educational institutions and agencies in Abia State.
He told newsmen that from their findings in the course of their tour of the country, the common string running through the problems in federal ivory towers include poor funding, abandoned projects, inadequate academic staff and lack of facilities.
Chukwumerije pointed out that the Senate Education Committee was very much worried because the common problems have continued to occur at every fiscal year, adding that there must be a solution to the problem in the interest of education.
At the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike (MOUAU) the Vice-chancellor, Professor Hilary Edeoga, pleaded with the Senate Committee to assist in halting the falling allocation to the institution, saying its capital vote has been slashed to N325 million as against N398 million it got last year.
He also said that only about N80 million or 20 percent of the N398 million capital vote has so far been released to the University of Agriculture, adding that the institution was in dire need of funds for expansion of its infrastructure and academic programmes.
“There is no road, we have no equipment and we’re facing accreditation,” he lamented before the Senate committee, adding that the special trust fund (high impact fund) has been eluding MOUAU.
Chukwumerije promised that the committee would ensure that all the priority projects listed by the VC would be accommodated in the 2013 appropriation.
The Senate committee members on the oversight visit include the deputy chairman, Senator Shola Adeyeye and Senator Babayo Gamawa.