Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State, has urged the Presidential Visitation Panel to the University of Calabar (UNICAL) to recommend improved funding for the institution to enable it overcome its challenges of insecurity and territorial encroachment.
He made the appeal when he received a delegation from the Presidential Visitation Panel to the University of Calabar at the Government House, Calabar, on Wednesday, June 2.
Represented by his Deputy, Professor Ivara Esu, the governor noted that the challenges noticed by the panel was as a result of inadequate funding of the institution to enable it build infrastructure to overcome the challenges.
He also decried the situation where principal officers in universities in the state, openly played partisan politics without first resigning their appointments from the university, adding that it calls for great concern.
Ayade also advised the panel to look into the high degree of nepotism, tribalism, admission racketeering and other vices which were hitherto totally alien to the university system.
He urged the visitation panel to urgently address all the issues he raised in order to salvage the university system from imminent collapse.
The Cross River number one citizen also opined that expansion of the university infrastructure was constrained by the Great Qua River which runs through the centre of the University and requires a bridge to be built over it to enable development to extend to the other side of the river which belongs to the institution.
He stressed that the visitation panel has enormous work to do to help strengthen the university system, not only that of Calabar but across the country.
Chairman of the visitation panel and a former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Prof. Olufemi Bamiro emphasized that visitation panels usually assist the government to sanitise the university system.
He further noted that through their recommendation, the Panel could help weed out nepotistic characters and corrupt elements in the university system.
According to him, the panel was on a fact-finding mission and they decided to come and intimate the government of their presence in the state.
He explained that visitation panels were not necessarily inaugurated when there was a problem, but that they were expected to be appointed every five years to ascertain how well Institutions have been managed over the period.