By Anayo Okoli, Umuahia
The Vice Chancellor of Abia State University, Uturu, Professor Uchenna Ikonne, has denied the allegedly mismanaged development grant of N5 billion from TETFUND to the University for various development projects, insisting that the projects are still ongoing in the various campuses of the institution.
According to Ikonne, all universities are entitled to the interventions of which TETFUND is a part and which TETFUND strictly monitors.
Giving a little idea of how TETFUND is awarded, the Vice Chancellor explained that these funds are not given to the Vice Chancellor for administration, but rather administered by the Governing Council through the Vice Chancellor’s direction and supervised by the TETFUND organizers. .
“Every university has the right to an intervention of which TETFUND is part. In addition to giving a fund to a university, TETFUND follows up to make sure the money is used for that particular project. If a particular stage of the project is not completed, they do not release more funds for the next stage of the project.
“This is how they work. During our time, we requested a high impact fund, which we got N3 billion and it was announced in the Senate. The projects are ongoing in the three campuses of Uturu, Aba and Umuahia, at the moment and have not been completed.
“For some people, saying that it was mismanaged means that the person does not know how it is financed. We never got a sponsored research, but it happened during my time and we got three through TETFUND and this has been used. ABSU has become a research center. Going through the labs, you can attest to the amount of work we’ve put into it, ”explained ikonne.
On the controversial COVID-19 pandemic prevention fee that has since been phased out, Ikonne explained that it came and announced after due consultation with the University’s governing council, the student union government and the state government. , after pressure to resume school and also meet the approved standard set by the National Center for Disease Control.
“The pressure to resume school administration prompted the announcement of the pandemic prevention fee. Remember, we were about to write the exams for the first semester of the academic year when the COVID-19 pandemic began. There was a consultation from all angles and a collective agreement of all interested organizations. Unfortunately, it was received like this. The council consulted very well before the announcement was made. I take responsibility for it. I am not avoiding it, ”said the vice-chancellor.
On the issue of salary arrears at the institution, Professor Ikonne attributed it to the pandemic which, he said, affected school income as the students were at home.
He assured the students that the school leadership was doing everything possible to fix things and avoid putting their lives at risk before asking them to return to school.
“We have to fix things. People are testing positive at the National Youth Service Corps camp. We cannot bring students without putting things in order. We are working to bring them back ”, Ikonne assured.