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Free Education:



Hope Of Imo Students Hangs On The Balance

… Uzodinma Keeps Mute On Program

… Yet To Implement Panel’s Report

… Schools Resumes

Uzodinma’s long silence over the ongoing free education started by the former Governor of Imo state, senator Rochas Okorocha appears to have put the beneficiary students in suspense as well as the new ones who passed the recent JAMB exams and are waiting for the admission.

Governor Hope Uzodinma had upon assumption of office on January 2020 gave his nod for the continuation of the panel set up by the Ihedioha led administration on the education system in Imo, particularly as it concerned the much talked about and controversial free education scheme, founded by former Governor Rochas Okorocha.

Uzodinma’s nod for the said panel set up by Ihedioha to continue with their investigation was appreciated by the majority of Imo people who described the act of Uzodinma as the action of a person who is not just prepared to govern the state but one with an understanding that government is indeed a continuum and as such, should be seen and treated as such.

However, an investigation carried out by the Lead Newspaper revealed that Students particularly those in the Tertiary Institutions in Imo have their hopes of the ongoing free education hangs in the balance as Imo state Government is yet to say anything about the free education in Imo, whether it would be scraped or not particularly when the panel set up by Ihedioha which received Uzodinma’s nod had months ago submitted their reports to Governor Uzodinma’s led administration.

The education panel chaired by Professor Nebo had a few months ago, submitted their report to Governor Uzodinma to carry out.

As contained in the report, the panel, in summary, informed Imo people and the state Government in particular, that the said free education in Imo as a is a scam pointing out that nothing as such ever existed in Imo.

This report which as at the time of filing this report had not been implemented by the executive was greeted with varying reactions and opinions by Imo people.

While some believed the report of the panel to scrape the said free education initiated by Okorocha on the grounds that the said beneficiaries were still subjected to pay all the said fees at the points of clearances, others were of the view that Governor Uzodinma should work on it by making the scheme indeed free and not the other way round.

Speaking with Lead Newspaper, a law student in Imo state University who gave her name as Ngozi Opara revealed that Uzodinma’s silence on the said free education has not stopped given students sleepless nights as students are not certain and sure of the next plan of the Governor towards the said free education program even when schools are to resume today for the new academic session.

In the same manner, another student of mass communication, Chioma Osuigwe told Lead, that confusion has engulfed the reasoning of the students following Uzodinma’s silence on the free education program in Imo.

Meanwhile, a source from the Government House revealed to Lead that sooner than later, the Government would make public its decision on the said free education in the state.

The same source further hinted that Government would scrap the so-called free education which according to the report of the panel, never existed, but would reintroduce school fees but this time around would be very minimal and affordable to the poorest so that no Imo person would give a monetary excuse as a reason why he or she drops out of the school or did not go to school.

This, as gathered by Lead was one of the major reasons why Uzodinma forfeited his security votes, Lead had in authority.

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Okafor Lauds Uzodinma Over New VC



The founding Editor-in-Chief of IMSU Star Newspaper and also a solicitor in Imo State, Barr. Daniel Okafor has extolled the Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodinma, over the appointment of Prof. Peter Akah as the new Vice-Chancellor of Imo State University Owerri, Imo State.

According to him, Prof. Peter Akah who is a Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, is the best thing that has happened since the history of the institution.

He further said that the erudite scholar will bring his wealth of experience to bear, by transforming the school into a redefined citadel of learning and IMSU will have no option than to bounce back to its lost glory. 

“Indeed Gov. Uzodinma has done very well by appointing a top-notch, respectful professor for the position of VC IMSU. This is a timely intervention; I am calling on all Imo Stars, lecturers, staff of the university to commend our Governor on this New Year gift.” He asserted.

He seized the opportunity to inform all those in Egede Club to stay clear of the Vice Chancellor, stressing that the new VC has come to work not to join any club.

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Doubts Over Imo Free Education



… Uzodinma Adopts Nebo’s Recommendation

… Appoints External Prof. As New IMSU VC

Uncertainty over the continuation of the ongoing free education has become the order of the day in Imo State-owned institutions particularly the Imo State University, following what can best be described as adoption of the recommendation of professor Nebo’s panel on the best way to run Imo State University achieve standard.

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Nebo who was appointed the chairman of the panel of investigation to look into the running of the institution both in the areas of admission as well as the on-going free education introduced by the Okorocha’s led administration by the former Ihedioha led administration had towards the end of 2020, submitted the panel’s report to the Uzodinma led administration where part of the recommendations was for the government to scrap the Rocha’s introduced free education which according to him was a total fraud.

Nebo’s panel, however, described the said free education as an avenue through which the resources of the school were siphoned.

However, the said recommendation by the panel to scrap the on-going free education however has become a source of worry to Imo people following Uzodinma’s response that his administration would work in tandem with the outlined recommendations of Nebo.

The said Nebo’s panel further recommended to the Imo State Government to appoint as a new Vice Chancellor for the institution an external lecturer who does not teach in the Imo State University.

However, the fear and concerns of Imo people took a different dimension when the government of Imo State yesterday January 5 announced an external person Prof. Akah to take over Prof. Adaobi Obasi as the new Vice-Chancellor of the citadel of learning.

Also read: FCMB demotes Adam Nuru, appoints Yemisi Edun as acting Managing Director

This appointment by the Imo State Government, therefore, implies that the state government may have adopted the recommendation of the said Nebo’s panel, hence there are doubts over the continued practice of free education in Imo.

Imo State Governor through the secretary to the state government, Cosmos Iwu announces Professor Peter Achunike Akah as the new V.C.

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ASUU explains why it hasn’t called off its eight months old strike



The Academic Staff Union of Universities ASUU has said it will not be calling off its eight months old strike until the Federal government pays all withheld salaries and fulfills all of the offers made to the union thus far.

The Federal government, in its latest offers to ASUU leadership, pledged to pay N40 billion as Earned Allowance and N30 billion for the revitalization of the university system, bringing the total payment to N70 billion. The government also agreed to settle the arrears of salaries of the lecturers before December 2020, but after due consultation with the government side.

The Federal government also accepted the demand by ASUU that they be exempted from the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) pending the approval of their proposed payment system, the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS).

In a chat with The Nation, ASUU President, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi, said none of the promises have been fulfilled and until they are, the union will not call off the strike that started in March this year.

“We are still consulting but certainly before the end of this week we will report to the minister the findings and feedback from our members. The offers people are talking about are proposals that have timeless and some of these things are expected to have been happening. If those things they promised with the timeline can happen before we conclude our consultation I think the process will go smoother.

A concrete example is the payment of our members’ salaries which have not been paid. If people are not paid I don’t think anybody will be willing to go back to work and other things that have timeline that we expect government to implement.

“You don’t expect people, after eight months, to go back to the classrooms on empty stomach. That is where we are.

“Before the end of this new week we will get back to government but we keep on telling them each time they contact us that they (government) should fulfill their own part of the bargain, things that have timelines.”

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