THE Vice Chancellor of University of Cross River State, now University of Uyo (UNIUYO), Prof. Comfort Ekpo, has said that twenty-three years after the Federal Government took over the institution, the take-off grant for the institution has not been released by the Federal Government.
Prof. Ekpo, who stated this when members of House of Representatives Committee on Water Resources led by its Vice Chairman, Lassun Yussuff, visited the school in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital, told the committee that because of non-release of the take-off grant, many projects envisaged by the school management have suffered setback.
The first female vice chancellor of the university, therefore, appealed to the committee members to help bring up this issue on the floor of the House as such could help remind the authorities concerned to act promptly.
Prof. Ekpo, who acknowledged the importance of water to human existence, further appealed to the committee members to use their good offices and solicit for the release of the needed funds for the completion of the school water project and others.
According to her, “water is peace, a University of Uyo with adequate water and electricity would indeed be a peaceful university.”
In his speech, the Managing Director of Cross River Basin Development Authority, Mr. Mfon Eno-obong, who accompanied the House committee members, said that because of the importance of the UNIUYO water project, the Authority has to suspend other projects in order to channel resources towards the completion of the water project in the institution.
He lamented the delay in releasing money to fund the project, thereby soliciting for help of the committee to relevant authorities for quick release of funds.
Earlier, the Vice Chairman, House Committee on Water Resources, Mr. Lassun Yussuff, who acknowledged the importance of water to life, noted that the sector was not getting enough investment so as to meet the need of the people in the country.
He told the university management that the committee was carrying out its constitutional oversight function but not witch-hunting exercise, adding that they were in the school to assess the extent of work done based on their budgetary provision.
The committee, he stressed, was on tour to all water projects in the South-South and South-West zones and called on closer relationship between the House of Representatives, Cross River Basin Development Authority and the University of Uyo, noting that such synergy would bring about quick results.
Meanwhile, a non-governmental organisation known as Medical Women Association of Nigeria, Akwa Ibom State Chapter, has donated a water purifying equipment to the University of Uyo Heath Centre.