The Executive Governor of Abia State Dr Alex Otti, OFR, has reiterated his commitment to rebuild Abia State University (ABSU) and make her a world-class citadel of higher learning.

It would be recalled that Governor Otti had earlier in the year, set up a visitation panel with terms of reference on 12 identified areas of interest that the panel should focus on.

During the inauguration, Governor Otti emphasized that “the Panel’s purpose was not to unnecessarily indict individuals but to closely examine the University’s processes and systems”, and come up with recommendations to achieve excellence in education, administration, and governance.

Speaking on Thursday, June 20th, when the panel submitted its report to him, Governor Otti said, “Education as you know is at the heart of our development agenda. It is not for nothing that we allocated 20% of our entire budgetary outlay for the 2024 fiscal year to the sector. Even then, we do not just want to throw money around in the misconception that money answereth all things.
“Our approach is methodical as we are keen to understand the main challenges and then evaluate how to prudently deploy resources to achieve the outcomes we seek. We had set up this Full Visitation Panel to undertake a robust study of the systems and structures at ABSU, evaluate how they align with international best practices, and return to us with a comprehensive report that would direct what we do next in terms of investments, and policy formulation — in collaboration with the relevant agencies and partners
“What we ultimately seek to achieve is to rebuild ABSU into a citadel of excellence in learning, research and administration. We want to frontally confront and eliminate whatever constitutes a threat to our vision of turning the University into a world-class institution; one that can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with its peers across the world, on all the indices that matter in University education.”

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The Governor expressed the hope that the recommendations and insights contained in the report will help the government achieve its vision of institutional transformation of Abia State University. He thanked the members of the panel for doing a great and thorough job in the assignment they were given 3 months ago, assuring that the Government will work with the report. “You shall in no distant time begin to hear news of very interesting, and transformative developments in the University because for us, good is never enough — we are either the best, or completely out of it,” Governor Otti affirmed.

Earlier in his speech, the chairman of the panel Prof Steve Okodudu, said that the panel met about 42 times and did a very extensive fieldwork, engaging with relevant stakeholders and reviewing relevant documents. “To deliver this work, we undertook extensive fieldwork, including visits to the University’s main campus at Uturu, as well as its locations in Aba and Umuahia. We reviewed numerous memoranda from stakeholders and scrutinized University records. Thus, the report we are presenting is the result of thorough research, extensive interviews, and diligent peer review sessions, thereby ensuring its factual accuracy and verifiability.

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“We met thirty six (36) times physically and six times (6) times, remotely, making it a total of forty two (42) meetings. We approached the task you assigned to us with the commitment of elders planting trees for future generations to enjoy their shade”, Prof. Okodudu said.

Other members of the panel include Prof. Rose Nwabueze, Prof. Ngozi Osarenren, Prof. Nnenna Oyidiya Okeh, Dr. Sony Ajala (SAN), Dr. Confidence Ogbonna Mr. Emma Okpechi FCA, and Mr. Dodoh Okafor

The State Commissioner for Education, Prof. Eme Uche Eme; Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Mr. Kenechuchukwu Nwosu; and Technical Assistant to the Governor Mr. Charles Egonye were among Government functionaries that witnessed the submission of the panel’s report.

Ferdinand Ekeoma
Special Adviser
Media and Publicity
June 20,2024

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