Professor Fred Esumeh, a professor of Zoology in the Department of Natural Science at Ambrose Alli University (AAU), Ekpoma has described the institution as ‘suffering’ and ‘nothing to write home about.’
In a press briefing organised by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Benin Zone, Esumeh lamented the underfunding and poor state of infrastructure in the university, adding that the state government lied about the N500 million monthly subvention it claimed it gives to the university.
He said, “That university is suffering from gross and chronic underfunding. A visit to the university will attest to this fact. The situation in AAU as regards funding has manifested in so many folds. You go there, most of the programmes have been denied accreditation.
“The results of recent accreditation exercise is very woeful. It is testimony of gross underfunding. Physical facility is nothing to write home about. A university of over 30 years is still crawling.
”There is lack of fund for staff development. If you talk of salaries, they send subventions and the university has to go to look for over N100 million to augment it.
“This is a strange institution owned by Edo State Government. The university wage bill is over N300 million, they deduct taxes from source which is against normal convention. Obviously it is not true that N500 million was given to the university We have asked the state government to take over the payment of salaries,” he added.
He also urged government bodies and the people of Edo state to take action to stop the unfair treatment.
“If you have an existing university that is facing such gross underfunding as AAU, Ekpoma is, and the state is buoyant enough to contest from afresh a new university and has advertised for full complement of staff for that university to take off, it is for the public to judge.
“We know that education is on concurrent list. The House of Assembly should examine it themselves. Go and ask if there is any additional block to what is existing in the College of Education, Ekiadolor. It is high time the people of Edo State reasoned together. We have just been deceived into the approval of three universities, whereas the major thing is to fund only one,” he said.