By Chidi Nkwopara
Imo State government says it has taken steps to meet the demands of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) with a view to reopening Evan Enwerem University, Owerri, which was shut since July this year.
Government however reasoned that sice it is prepared to raise the subvention of the institution to accommodate the N280 millio monthly wage bill occasioned by the salary increases, stakeholders, including parents, may have to make their own contributions towards to the realization of the project.
The Secretary to the Government of Imo State, Chief Cosmas Iwu, confirmed the current development in a statement he issued in Owerri.
Chief Iwu noted that the Governor, Chief Ikedi Ohakim, had always acknowledged that lecturers deserve wage increases, but that paucity of funds remained the stumbling block, stressing that the N30,000 fees paid by students per session in the institution, is the lowest in the entire country.
He also observed that to pay the new salary structure, the state government would have to cough out N280 million monthly as against the current N130 million, adding that government has raised an eight-man committee headed by Professor Thomas Ndubuizu, to advise it on the appropriate subvention and school fees.
Continuing, Chief Iwu said the Committee, which is headed by a former Vice Chancellor of the institution, Professor Thomas Ndubuizu, is expected to submit its report November 29, 2010.