From Steve Oko, Umuahia
Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu, Tuesday, approved a whopping N400 million bailout for the management of Abia State University, Uturu for the payment of staff salary and other pressing financial needs.
The gesture is coming less than one week after the staff of the institution including members of academic and non -academic staff declared an indefinite strike over months of unpaid salaries.
According to a press statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Onyebuchi Ememanka, Gov. Ikpeazu decided to come to the rescue of the institution after a meeting with the management and union leaders in Umuahia.
The statement read in part :”Following strong representations from the Management and Staff of the Abia State University to the State Government for some form of financial assistance in the wake of the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Governor of Abia State State and Visitor to the University, Okezie Ikpeazu, PhD has approved the structuring of bailout funds in the sum of Four Hundred Million Naira (=400,000,000. 00) for the University.
“This bailout fund is expected to be applied by the University Management to meet basic financial obligations including but not limited to the payments of salaries of workers in the University.
“In granting this approval, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu is mindful of the fact that the Abia State University has remained a strong model in resources management and maintenance of academic stability.
” The Governor notes, with pride, that the University has, since the inception of his administration remained a signpost for excellence and service which has manifested in the consistent improvements in the rating of the University by independent assessment agencies in the country.
“The Governor notes further that the pandemic which took the entire globe by surprise has fundamentally altered the smooth academic environment in the University leading to obvious and unavoidable disequilibrium in their financial inflows.
“Governor Ikpeazu is of the firm belief that under the circumstances, the University is well deserving of this assistance from the State Government.”
According to the statement, details of the structure of the bailout will be worked out between the officials of the State Government and the University Management Team.
“The Governor believes that this line of support, which is unprecedented in the history of the Institution will provide the needed impetus for the University to jump-start academic activities and continue to sustain her position in the nation’s academic environment”, it concluded.