Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State has vowed to establish for the State University the best Teaching Hospital in Nigeria before the expiration of his 2nd tenure as governor of the State.
Umahi made the undertaking on Monday at the University’s law auditorium during an interactive session with the management, Staff and Students of the institution.
You may recall that the former Ebonyi State Teaching Hospital was ceded to the Federal Government during the administration of former Governor Martin Elechi and renamed Federal Teaching Hospital.
Just recently, the hospital was made the teaching hospital for the newly established Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu-Alike, Ikwo, thus leaving the Ebonyi State University with no teaching hospital of its own.
Addressing the University community as a visitor during the event, Umahi assured that he would not rest until the major tertiary institutions owned by the State attain his desired standards as second to none in the country.
He noted that foundation stone for the new teaching hospital would be laid before May 29, marking the beginning of his second tenure.
Umahi said: “Before the end of my four years, I promise you the best teaching hospital in the Country.
“Foundation would be laid before the end of my first tenure.”
The Governor, who also visited the Ebonyi State College of Education, Ikwo during the tour, promised to superlatively enhance the infrastructural facilities in the two institutions: provision of streetlights and asphalting of their internal roads among others.
He donated four number 500KVA Electricity Generating Sets to complement power supply in the two main campuses of the University, adding that he has dedicated the sum of N60 million for their yearly maintenance.
The Governor, who further expressed his intention to embark on the completion of the abandoned hostel complex at the permanent site of the University, also undertook to give immediate attention to the Kpirikpiri-Ishieke by-pass to the University’s main campus to avert incessant loss of staff and student lives along the ever busy Abakaliki-Enugu Epressway
“By 15th March, dualization of Kpirikpiri-Ishieke Road to the University will commence,” Umahi assured.
On the fate of some of the recently sacked Staff of the University due to some irregularities found in their records, the Governor enjoined the University Community to be patient as a final decision on the matter would be made known before March 20.
At the State College of Education, Umahi further undertook to install a 100KVA Solar Power plant to energize the streetlights to be installed within the institution.
He also donated a 500KVA Generator to the College, with allocated N30 million for its yearly maintenance, adding that work on the environmental landscaping of the institution would commence soon.
Umahi noted that all was set for the awarding of the over 198km Abakaliki Ring Road by April this year, which would further add value to the College, economically and infrastructure wise.
Umahi, however, stressed that a Committee of Government with the Management, Staff and Students of the two institutions would be established to do an empirical evaluation of their needs, sources and prospects with the aim of determining the best options for their economic viability.
Welcoming the Governor to the institutions, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Chigozie Ogbu, and his counterpart, the Provost of the College of Education, Prof. Chukwuma Mbam, appreciated the Governor for his numerous infrastructural revolution which has positively impacted on their institutions.
They expressed optimism that Umahi’s visit would further bring succour against the many challenges of the institutions.
The EBSU Chairman, Academic Staff Union of Universities, Associate Prof. Ikechukwu Igwenyi, speaking on behalf of the University Staff, lamented the hitherto neglect of the institution by government and called on Umahi to graciously extend his renowned infrastructural revolution in the State to the university.
Igweyi appreciated the Governor for recently releasing some funds to cater for arrears of their salaries but lamented their lack of job security owing to the non-integration of the University into the Government pension scheme.
He requested the Governor to facilitate the payment of their End Academic Allowances as obtains in other universities across the country.
Igwenyi further implored Umahi to look into the circumstances surrounding the recent sack of some staff of the university with the aim reinstating them.
His COEASU counterpart at the College of Education, Sunday Oriji, while appreciating the Governor for his kind gestures towards them, also appealed for proper gazeting of the institution to guarantee their job security.
Others who spoke, including the Chairman of the University’s Non-Academic Staff Union, Emmanuel Oboh, and that of his College of Education counterpart, Chimezie Onuenyim; the President, EBSU Students Union Government, Emmanuel Ogbu; and his College of Education counterpart, pledged to give their total support towards the re-election of the Governor for a second term.
Ogbu. who is also a co-chairman of the South East Students Union, assured: “We, the students, have resolved to deliver over 80,000 votes to the Governor to guarantee his win come Saturday, March 9.