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Rt. Hon. Friday Okpechi Leads Debate Against CRUTECH Amendment Bill

Following the presentation of the Cross River University of Technology (CRUTECH) amendment bill by the House Leader, Rt. Hon. Peter Odey, today, the member representing Obubra 1 State Constituency, Rt. Hon. Friday Okpechi led a debate against the proposed amendment bill, arguing that a change of name and introduction of new courses was not what the state varsity needed but quality delivery in the current courses it offers.

According to Rt. Hon. Friday, moving from one name to the other was not the substance in the challenge(s) faced by the school, howthat, the varsity, once moved from Polytechnic to University of Technology with no significant difference in the delivery of its educational services.

Debating on the lines of attention, Rt. Hon. Friday said if the State Government can pay adequate attention to CRUTECH, there would be no need to change the name and introduce new courses, affirming that, almost all the higher institutions in the state are suffering from lack of attention, pointing to the State’s College of Education, Akamkpa, whereof he said the college started with twenty four(24) courses but due to lack of attention, lost accreditation in over nineteen(19) courses and now offers only but five(5) courses.

Okpechi advised that the House should rather focus its energy on how to improve the school’s standard of learning by enhancing all the courses it currently offers rather than bring in new ones with lean attention from the State Government.

“We seem to be chasing quantity [of courses] instead of the quality [of courses],” Okpechi said.

The Obubra representative went on to advise that there was nothing wrong with having a tertiary institution with a sole-focus on technology, howthat, if the state government would pay attention to it, people can come from far to patronize it, lamenting that, the current state of affairs of the state’s tertiary institutions was mournful.

Following in Okpechi’s line was Hon. Francis Asuquo of Odukpani State farm who also submitted that there was no need for a change of name or introduction of new courses but an improvement in the current state of things in the school.

In Asuquo’s view, the same varsity moved from Cross River Polytechnic to Cross River University of Technology, howthat, if it eventually proceeds to University of Cross River, one day, perhaps, it will be renamed “Cross River University State”.

The two lawmakers were the only to debate against the amendment bill as the Speaker maintained the position of the majority lawmakers who spoke in favour of the amendment bill, reiterating that the bill was only trying to ensure that the State does not lose what it has acquired already. Howthat, if nothing was done, most of the faculties and courses currently offered in the varsity would be lost to the new NUC policy.

The amendment bill was thus read a second time and thereof referred to the House Committee on Education to be brought to the floor on a second week.

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