The House of Representatives on Tuesday mandated the Federal Government to, as a matter of urgency release the take-off grant meant for the University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
The Lower Chamber of the National Assembly also mandated the Committee on Tertiary Education and Services to liaise with the Federal Government to ensure compliance and report back within four weeks for further legislative action.
The resolutions were sequel to the adoption of a motion on: “Non-Release of Take-Off Grant to Federal Universities Across the Country” moved by Unyime Idem (PDP, Akwa Ibom) at plenary.
Moving the motion, Idem noted that there are some Federal Universities in Nigeria that are yet to receive take-off grants decades after their establishment and commencement of academic activities.
He stated that take–off grants are seed funds provided by the Federal Government to assist newly established Universities for the take-off of academic activities, support training, pays the salaries of pioneer workers, assist in the provision of the requisite technology, books and other crucial materials needed to run the school.
The lawmaker expressed concern that most second and third generation Universities had to commence academic activities from existing Secondary, Technical School or State Universities as the case may be.
He was also concerned that the University of Uyo, formerly known as the University of Cross River State (UNICROSS), a third-generation University established on October 1, 1991, commenced academic activities without the initial take-off grant and had to grapple with lean resources to manage its affairs and as a result, could not develop properly till date.
Idem said he was: “Also aware that other institutions such as the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umuahia, University of Jos, and Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka among others are yet to receive their take-off grants decades after being established, and this has hampered their growth.
“Concerned that this unfortunate development has hampered the rapid provision of required infrastructure at various main campuses of the affected Universities overstretching the existing facilities due to lack of lecture halls.
“Also concerned that failure of the Federal Government to release the said take-off grant to the affected Universities from the onset, has led to untold hardship since funds that would have been used for other projects were deployed to provide immediate remediation.
“Worried that these Universities are still facing the challenges of inability to prove a befitting physical facility, payment of staff promotion arrears, arrears of salary shortfalls, payment of earned allowances and engagement of more staff to improve the staff-student ratio.
“Disturbed that other Universities established after these Universities have enjoyed the privilege of receiving take-off – grant ranging from the Federal Government.
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Reps ask FG to release take-off grant meant for University of Uyo