By Ugochukwu Alaribe – Unuahia
Abia State government is set to inaugurate a committee to explore the possibility of establishing a University of Science and Technology in Aba.
Commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu, who disclosed this in Umuahia, gave the members of the committee as Prof Anya O Anya-Chairman, Engr. Isaac Nnadi, Mrs Uwaoma Olewengwa, Prof Benjamin C. Ozumba and Prof Ikechi Mgbeoji -Secretary; adding that they would be inaugurated on January 6, 2020, by Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu.
He explained that the committee would determine the feasibility of establishing the proposed university including need, funding, registration and materials for takeoff.
In his words, “Abia is underserved with universities. Most states who do not graduate as many students as Abia have 3 to 4 state and federal universities. We have engineering materials imported into the state since decades ago as part of set up equipment for metallurgical training institute meant for rapid technological advancement of the South East region.
“The vision bearers include engineers and Igbo statesmen. Gov.Okezie Ikpeazu is expected to midwife it because of his academic background.”
He noted that the proposed university of science and technology would serve as a technological platform to support the Enyimba Economic City.
“The choice of Aba is apt because we already have universities in Central (Umuahia) and North (Uturu). Also, Aba is the technology hub of the state and with Enyimba Economic City in view, we can leverage the university to support the development of the city.
“We expect a lot of private capital in the setting up of the university which will have a pro-Igbo leaning. Many Igbocentric development groups and education service providers are interested.
The commissioner stated the government would soon unfold its plans for the State Polytechnic, Aba and the State College of Education, Technical, Arochukwu, ACETA.
“We have plans for Abiapoly and ACETA that would be unfolded later in the new year. But if the committee believes that Abia poly should give birth to the University, it will be looked into by the government. A well-structured university will largely fund its operations. ABSU is today majorly funding its operations with minimal support from the government.”