AKWA IBOM, Nigeria – The Vice-Chancellor of Akwa Ibom State University, Ikot Akpaden, Prof. Eno James Ibanga, on Wednesday dispelled the insinuations that his tenure which should end on May, 2020 would be extended.
He said at no point had he asked for or wanted to stay beyond the five-year, one term tenure according to the University law.
The VC disclosed this in his office when members of the Civil Liberty Organisations, Akwa Ibom State chapter led by its Chairman, Otuekong Franklyn Isong paid an unscheduled advocacy visit on him.
He said all his achievements and legacies as a Vice Chancellor which were in the public domain was not a ploy to come back for second tenure, rather an accomplishment of his blueprint and dreams.
According to him, “I, Eno Ibanga has never asked for extension of tenure. It was the governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel that even called me and said, Prof., you have done a lot, more than i expected as the VC of AKSU, I think you can continue. I told him, No, your Excellency, I rather go when the ovation is loudest.
“I have a five year, one term appointment which is in the law of the University. Let us follow the norm. Another person can come in and even do better than me. I have done my bit let another try, the governor later agreed, so we have concluded the matter. So, I wonder where all these rumour of extension of tenure is coming from.
“I am preparing to hand over, I’ve even prepared an office for myself to stay as soon as my tenure ends. Being a vice Chancellor was a wish God granted me, like me or hate me, you can’t take the legacies away, they are there speaking for me. Though, I am the type that doesn’t like blowing my trumpet or seeking popularity.”
Hinting some of his numerous achievements, Ibanga said aside the Engineering faculty, school clinic, 100 percent accreditation of courses, granting of broadcasting license, construction of school gate, construction of smart classroom etc that he would build a faculty of Agriculture at Obio-Okpa with 33 offices, five classrooms, five laboratories with specialized classrooms for professors.
He said he would not be deterred by antics of critics as he had a clear vision of what he wanted to achieve as a VC, stressing that the School gate which was near completion was symbolic and would speak to generations yet unborn.
On the underpayment saga, the VC explained that the management decided to pay using the new table of minimum wage where the junior staff benefit more. “When this happened, I called all the unions and discussed with them. This is the table approved and note, each union sent a representative to this negotiations with the government before this table came out.
“Because of this new minimum wage table, some people are underpaid and they have some shortage. We wrote back to government to tell them that some people are short paid. I asked the registrar to send out a circular that there are some disagreements on this table but let us pay what we have, when they have brought out changes, we will keep and if they are any arrears, we pay.” He said.
Also speaking, the Commissioner of Education Prof. NSE Essien said the state government was passionate about giving quality education, noting that entrepreneurial studies would be added in the curriculum and added that college of Science and Technology Nung Ukim, would be centre for entrepreneurship.
In his remarks, the CLO State Chairman, Franklyn Using commended the Vice Chancellor for his developmental strides in the institution, urging him to continue bringing in more development even in the last day in office.
Isong said CLO was not only meant to attack and criticize but in some occasions can give a pat on the back that was doing well.
He said his team decided to pay an unscheduled visit to the institution and the construction sites therein to get first hand information of projects and was pleased with the level of transformation and development, especially, the smart classroom and the school entrance at the permanent site.
“I know some people may be surprised that I laud Prof. Ibanga led administration because people assume that we are anti-government.
“We are neither pro nor anti government but ready to say things the way they are without fear or favor. The development seen in this institution courtesy of this present leadership speaks volume and would not be countered,” Isong noted.