Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has approved the sum of N500 million for the Ambrose Alli University to upgrade its facilities.
Speaking at the inauguration of eight member Governing Council of the university chaired by Professor Greg Akenzua, Governor Oshiomhole said the money will be paid in installments, beginning from this month and spread over a couple of months.
He said the Governing Council will decide how best to put the money to use, but that he expects value for every kobo spent.
According to the Governor, “there are a lot of challenges in Ambrose Alli University (AAU) which is why I appreciate your acceptance of this appointment. There are issues of funding, issues of management, issues of transparency and issues of accurate record keeping. I am aware that the Vice Chancellor had been dealing with these, but some of them are beyond the competence of a Vice Chancellor.
“For institutions to change and to drive changes which has become a permanent feature for lives of nation and institution, you have to find the courage to take decisions that may be painful to some but beneficial to the institution.
“There are current issues that AAU has to address. One of them is the lopsided appointment. There are so many non-academic staff, non-research staff and you do not have enough academic staff. Even if we have all the money we need, we are obliged to used these resources judiciously”, he said.
He noted that “regardless of what we have to say, we all can do better in respect of the funding of universities, not only about funding but management. I pray that God will use us to make a different and increase the funding, but not just increasing the funding but be sure that every additional kobo we spend, we get a value for it.
“As a demonstration of my renewed confidence oin your leadership of AAU, we will begin from this month, over the next few months, believing you know best to utilize it, give AAU the total sum of N500 million.”
The Governor said he has total confidence in the new AAU Governing Council as it is made up of “seasoned academics, administrators, but above all, people who have demonstrated passion for quality education.”
Responding, Chairman of the Council, Prof Greg Akenzua, on behalf of others, pledged that the Council would do its best to reposition the University and justify the confidence reposed in them by the Governor.
“You have identified financing as the main bane of the University system, I want to assure that whatever funds made available will be spent judiciously”, he said.
Other members of the Governor Council are Prof Thomas Audu, Prof Tom Imobighe, Dr Andrew Isegwe, Dr Andrew Okwilagbe, Dame Esohe Jacobs, Prince Tony Omoaghe and Dr Godswill Ogboghodo.