The 7-man committee inaugurated by the Imo State government to critically investigate the statuses of newly established tertiary institutions in the state by the departed Rochas Okorocha administration has recommended the conversion of the Eastern Palm University Ogboko, in the Ideato South council area of the state into a campus of the Imo State University, Owerri, housing the Faculties of Management and Social Sciences.
The Chairman of the Committee and ex-Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology Owerri, Professor Jude Njoku, said that the institution, although recognized by the National Universities Commission as the second state university in the state with an acting Vice Chancellor and a governing council should not be allowed to stay in view of the lean resources of the state to manage it along with other already existing institutions in the state.
Consequently, the committee had recommended the setting of up a judicial panel to ascertain the authenticity of the ownership of the institution.
Njoku, who disclosed this while briefing newsmen on the findings and recommendations of his committee on Wednesday, said that the committee was equally of the view that both the Imo State University of Agriculture and Environmental Science, Aboh/Okpala and the University of Science and Technology, Umuna should remain campuses of the Imo State University Owerri.
While Aboh/Okpala would be the campus for agriculture and veterinary medicine, Njoku said that Umuna would be for Engineering as earlier conceived.
To accomplish its assignment, Professor Njoku, also a former commissioner for Education in the state said that the committee first invited and interacted with all the key actors in the process of establishing these institutions which included members of the project implementation committee set up by the immediate past governor of the state, those appointed Vice Chancellors, Rectors and Provosts of these institutions.
Njoku opined that the government might wish to upgrade these campuses to full-fledged universities and polytechnics as the need and resource might dictate and permit.
He recommended the termination of the appointments of all the Vice Chancellors, Rectors, principal officials and members of the governing councils of the newly established tertiary institutions while all the properties belonging to such institutions be recovered.