Governor of Enugu State, Dr. Peter Mbah, has reiterated the determination of his administration to return the Institute of Management and Technology (IMT), Enugu to its past glory.
Mbah stated this at the Government House, Enugu, while receiving the report of the Committee of Inquiry into the Accounts, Management Practices and Staff Conduct in the institute, which the government set up in August.
The Governor was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Chidiebere Onyia, who said the report of the Committee would serve as one of the pillars for the planned reforms in the institution and across all levels of education in the state.
“It is important to state that the essence of this Committee was initially misconstrued, but His Excellency was very clear on what he wants to see in the education sector and it ranges from what happens at the elementary all the way to the tertiary levels.
“This is the first of many processes like this, to make sure that the IMT, which is also a historical institute of excellence, is restored to its glory. But we do not want to speak to the issues subjectively. That was why this Committee was set up to provide guidance for the government to start the process of reform using the empirical data.
“What we want is for IMT to return to its old glory both from the governance point of view and also from the selection point of view and the quality of faculty that is there.
“Faculty quality is very important so that the graduating students are able to meet the level of performance to be competitive locally and globally.
“The IMT was set up with the level of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US. So, the fact that we have retrogressed over the years should be a thing of concern to every citizen of Enugu State and every parent that hopes that his or her child passes through IMT as a higher institution of education.
“So, I am very happy that you did not just submit a report, but you also submitted a report with evidence to back up every assertion made here. I have not read this report, but I am confident that for you to have brought this report and also brought a pile of evidence to back up every thing that you have said, allows us to verify some of the things here before we start to implement them.
“The governor is determined that as we begin to work on IMT, to change the governance process and address some of the key recommendations here, this report becomes a guidance to other higher institutions in Enugu State”.
Meanwhile, speaking at the event, Chairman of the Committee, Prof. Edd Nwobodo, thanked the Dr. Peter Mbah administration for the steps taken and for finding them worthy to carry out the job.
Also throwing more light on their work after the presentation, Prof. Nwobodo told newsmen that the Committee’s work was essentially centred on pillars of reforms needed at the IMT.
“It is a reform-bias type of work essentially to get things done the right way. It was basically to ask the necessary questions, look at the systems, practices, and consequences for the manifestation of those systems”, he said.
Recall that the Enugu State Government set up the Committee in August to evaluate the legal and policy framework underpinning the constitution of the Business Committee and thoroughly analyse the various categories of fees charged to students, investigating the methods of payment, designated accounts for transactions, and the overall management of fee-related processes.
The Committee was also mandated to assess the degree of adherence to pertinent laws, regulations, and institutional policies in the selection and appointment of staff members, particularly those occupying key positions such as Heads of Department, Deputy Rector, among others; identify and scrutinise all streams of revenue generation for the institution, delving into the mechanisms for revenue collection, proper accounting practices for remittances, and the overall management of these financial resources.
They were also to investigate any instances of undue financial demands imposed on students either by lecturers or the administrative body, regardless of the pretext used; explore any other relevant areas that may emerge in the course of addressing the aforementioned issues: and to conduct a comprehensive examination leading to well-founded conclusions and recommendations concerning the matters outlined.