Edward Onoja, the Chief of staff to Kogi State Governor thinks decentralisation of Kogi State University can work and here is what he has to say:
The Kogi State Government led by His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Bello, recently approached the Kogi State Assembly with a Bill to decentralise the Kogi State University. The two arms of government are working in unison to make this laudable proposal a reality. Put simply, two more campuses of the the state’s flagship tertiary institution will be established once the Bill passes into law. The reasons for this laudable proposal are many, but a few will suffice to make the point here. Today Kogi State citizens do not have the benefit of studying any Engineering or Technology course in KSU. Each year, many otherwise qualified candidates from Kogi State have to forego their preferred courses or downgrade their study expectations. The Bill tends to reduce the incidence of this by providing for a School of Engineering and Technology in Kogi Central.
Today Agriculture has taken center stage and will continue to dominate the continental sphere as for many years to come. Kogi State has comparative advantages in Agriculture including vast arable lands and water for aquaculture and specialised agro-businesses like hydroponics. A school of Agriculture with all its economies which is billed to be sited in Kogi West, will broaden the field of manpower for agriculture in Kogi State.
There are no plans to move existing faculties out of the current campus except as may be required to put round pegs in round holes in view of the proposed new campuses. All the professional courses will most likely remain ‘as is’ at Anyigba Campus, namely Medical, Law, Arts, Education,Social,Humanities and Natural Sciences. It goes without saying that anyone who is interested in the broad-based development of Kogi State and not blinded by myopic considerations should applaud this initiative.
The facts below show that our preoccupation should not be with ‘why it cannot work’ but rather, ‘why should it not work’?
1. Kogi State University will still retain its HQs in Ayingba while her Vice Chancellor and Senate will work out from there Administrative wise.
2. Our teeming students needs not go to Ekpoma, Nasarawa or farther away to study courses that will be offered at the incoming campuses especially those affiliated to the Two Faculties which are today non existent.
3. The improved infrastructure and learning standards at all three campuses which I trust the New Direction Agenda of the Governor Yahaya Bello Administration to usher in is expected to attract thousands of fresh students to Kogi State from across the Country resulting in socioeconomic benefits.
4. Most of our elders who today elevate the Unity, Peace and Progress of Nigeria above tribal and ethnic sentiments first started in schools that broke down ethnic barriers. We believe the enlarged and enhanced 3-Campus structure will inculcate and localise such progressive experiences in future generations of Kogites who will meet and bond in KSU.
5. An admission policy which based on Equal Opportunities for all Kogites will be deployed in the new KSU under the coordination of a single Central Administration. Three campuses does not mean 3 Vice Chancellors, 3 Registrars or 3 Bursars within the Decentralization.
6. The name of this institution shall remain Abubakar Audu University – School of this or that at such and such location.
7. I implore the present generation of Kogites, and indeed Nigerians, to start looking at issues on the merits and away from the narrow prism of ethnicity which constricts development and limits innovation.
8. The issue of where funds will come from to run the new structure ought not to trouble anyone. A Scarcity Mentality has never been the characteristic of great people. Government is already looking beyond the recession.
In fact the recession is in itself an opportunity to retool agelong norms which have not helped our society in order to eliminate waste and free up monies for new ways to succeed. Plus, we are also looking at collaborative models which have long been ignored. There is no limitations to success except those we place on ourselves.
Before we jump into the foray with all sorts of theories and conjectures let us sit back and think it through. We might indeed see things from a broader view made possible by an open mind to new directions rather than continuing in the narrow lanes carved out by pride and prejudice. Just trying to make some sense out of a well thought out ,forward and future looking concept in not just naming a University after a National Statesman but to ensure his efforts and legacies are not left at one spot but expanded to more frontiers. May God grant us wisdom,understanding to always think KogiFirst.