EDUCATION

We ‘ve beefed up security around campus — ABSU VC 

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Vice Chancellor of Abia State University Uturu, Professor Onyemachi Ogbulu, has said that security had been beefed up around the campus as well as all the roads leading to the university to checkmate Kidnapping and banditary which had become a disturbing trend in the area of late.

The VC who gave the assurance Wednesday during an interactive session with Students Union Government, Students Representatives Council, Faculty and Departmental Presidents, Hostel Governors and the Management of the institution, said that the State Government was leaving nothing to chances to ensure the safety of students and staff.

He commended Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu for his numerous supports to the university Management in the fight against insecurity in the area.

The VC who said different security measures had been put in place to ensure the safety of returning students, staff and visitors to the university, also commended various security agencies for their efforts in combating insecurity in the area.

Professor Ogbulu noted that insecurity had become a national phenomenon but said that the University Management with the full support of the State Government and in collaboration with security agencies, had set machineries in motion to ensure the safety of students and staff of the university.

He however, advised students to be security conscious and to stop advertising their itineraries on the social media to avoid playing into the hands of criminals.

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The VC urged students who are yet to return to campus to quickly do so as academic activities have fully resumed since last week when the local chapters of the university-based unions called off their strike.

He commended the leadership of the unions for their magnanimity and understanding in calling off the protracted strike, which he regretted, had taken a toll on the education sector.

On the proposed hike in school fees, the VC assured the students that although the necessary stakeholders had agreed on the upward review of fees to enable the Institution shore up its revenues for more effective services, the new fees would not be implemented yet.

He said the Management was not insensitive to the economic hardship on parents, hence the delay in the fee hike, but added that the economic realities had made the implementation necessary.

” I just want to remind you that as agreed during our town hall meeting, school fees have to be increased, but not now. The upward review has to be done some time in the future based on the econiomic realities.

” We won’t just increase fees but provide safety nets to ensure that no student drops out of school”.

The VC pleaded with students to pay their fees to enable the institution serve them better, stressing that the Senate policy on ” no fees no exam shall be strictly implemented”.

” All students have six weeks from commencement of semester to pay school fees and register for courses while portal for course registration will be shut down one week before exam”.

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Explaining that the cost of running the institution had gone up particularly the following the increase in the cost of diesel, the VC appealed to students to get ready to adjust to the challenges.

” Before the strike, we were buying disel for N350 per liter but now it sells for N850. We want you to be prepared for adjustments”.

He disclosed that power supply in the institution had been adjusted from 8:00pm to 12:00 am to reduce the financial burden on the Management, and pleaded with the students to adapt to the changes.

The VC urged the students to steer clear from political thuggery but face their academics to enable them cover the lost grounds.

” This is a sensitive season. Don’t allow politicians to use and dump you; elections will come and go and life continues. Don’t be used as thugs and hired crowds; face your academics”.

Responding, the President, Students Union Government, Comrade Chidera Ibeleme, thanked the VC and his Management team for their efforts to improve on security around the campus.

He also applauded the Management for its decision not to begin the implementation of the new school fees, and pleaded that more attention be given to the provision of more lecture halls.

The SUG President as well as many other speakers pleaded with the Management to prevail on private lodge owners to reduce their exorbitant charges.

They called for a regulation of lodge accommodation charges, arguing that the charging of N250,000 per annum for a room in a private lodge is outrageous.

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