The Ebonyi State Governor, Chief David Umahi has ordered the Vice Chancellor of the State University, (EBSU), Abakaliki, Prof Francis Idike and other Principal officers of the institution to immediately vacate office having exhausted their 8 years tenure as stipulated in the 2016 EBSU amendment law 005 of 2016 assented to by the State Governor on Thursday.
Chief Umahi shortly after assenting to the law at the State Executive Council Chambers, Government House Abakaliki stated that with the new law in place, the Vice Chancellor, Deputy Vice Chancellor and other principal officers are expected to vacate the office on or before 26th of November 2016.
On the 2016 EBSU amendment law 005 of 2016, Umahi noted that the amendment had resolved a lot of issues affecting the university’s growth and development one of which was the 5 year two tenure as was enshrined in the law before its amendment, noting that any Vice Chancellor who spent ten years in office might develop a brain problem.
The Governor stated further that the amended law provided for the positions of Deputy Vice Chancellor academics and that of administration,saying that the old law only provided for the positions of deputy Vice Chancellors without specification.
The amended law equally allows only the Vice Chancellor to be appointed or remain in office at the age of 70 years or above.
Governor Umahi also approved the gazetteing of the academic and non-academic staff of the institution as contained in the amended law but warned that the university must be prudent in managing their affairs to be able to pay salaries, pension and gratuity, noting that with the economic situation in the country, the subvention of the school would be determined by the allocation received by the state government.
Governor Umahi also urged the Management of EBSU to review their staff strength and see whether to downsize the outrageous staff strength in the school to enable them meet up with the economic realities in the country pointing out that the number of staff in the school outweighed that of other tertiary institutions in the South East region.
According to Governor Umahi; “When you look at the staff strength of other tertiary institutions in the South East,like some that have about 11 Faculties,their staff strength range from 1300- 1400 but our own which is 8 Faculties have over 2800 staff. We believe it is very unhealthy but the amended law provides that you should be able to downsize or employ more to the extend that you can pay your salaries, pensions and gratuities”.
Chief Umahi also frowned at the alleged
harassment and intimidation of members of the University community by the host communities and mandated the Secretary to the State Government, Prof Bernard Odoh, Commissioner for Lands and Survey, Mr. Sunday Inyima and the Senior Special Assistant on Security, Dr. Kenneth Ugbala to mobilize Policemen to eject all illegal occupants in the school land.
Earlier, the Speaker of the state House of Assembly,Rt. Hon, Francis Ogbonnaya Nwifuru explained that the 2016 supplementary appropriation bill and the 2016 EBSU law 005 amendment bill of 2016 passed through the thorough scrutiny of the House before sending it for Governor Umahi’s assent and commended the governor for respecting the rule of laws.