David Abua: Vice Chancellor With The Midas Touch

By Com. Ogar Emmanuel Oko

In ancient Greek mythology and classical literature, a legend is told of a king who lived and ruled Phrygia in Asia Minor about 8th (some scholars have argued in support of 2rd century) century before the birth of Christ by the name — Midas.

Satyr aka Silenus was a companion of Dionysus, an Olympian god of winemaking, ritual madness, grape-harvest, theatre, fertility and wild frenzy was drunk and found himself on the warmth arms of Phrygian peasants who brought him to Midas. Midas took care of him for ten days and on the eleventh day, he returned him to Dionysus. For the act of hospitality and generosity shown to Silenus, Dionysus granted Midas’ modest request which was whatever he might touch should be changed into gold and his chalices, furniture and daughter, Marigold (Zoe) became gold.

Nowadays, to have the Midas touch means to have the ability to be successful in doing whatsoever one does. In recent years in the annals of the prestigious Cross River University of Technology (CRUTECH), one of the many overseers who had superintended over the affairs of that famous institution with somewhat like a Midas touch is certainly the incumbent Acting Vice Chancellor, Prof. David Abua Ogar.

Well, it isn’t the crux of this piece at this juncture to weary my readers with copious citation of Professor David. However, for the sake of the knowledge of the unsuspected population of my readers whom have not had the privilege of knowing Prof. David, that I feel obliged to reveal in brevity his personality in few lines.

Prof. Ogar, David Abua is a professor of Forest Economics and Management. He hails from Adiehe, Bekwarra Local Government Area in Cross River State. He got his PhD in Forest Economics and Management in 2001 from the University of Ibadan. The Acting Vice Chancellor began his scholarly career as a college lecturer in the Cross River State College of Agriculture, Obubra in 1995 and 1996, he was employed as an Assistant Lecturer in the University of Calabar where he rose through diligent and courageous efforts to the coveted professorial rank in 2015.

He has been a Visiting and Adjunct Lecturer to the Department of Forestry and Wildlife, University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State from 2008 – 2012. Prior to his appointment as Acting Vice Chancellor of Cross River University of Technology in November 2019, Prof. David was Sub-Dean, Faculty of Agriculture, Forestry and Wildlife Resources Management in the University of Calabar from 2004 – 2006 and Acting Head of Department, Department of Forestry and Wildlife Resources Management, University of Calabar from 2006 – 2008. He was Head of Department of Forestry and Wildlife for about 3 months from September 2019 to November 2019 before His Excellency, Prof. Ben Ayade, the governor of Cross River State appointed him as Acting VC of CRUTECH.

He belongs to some reputed professional bodies such as Forestry Association of Nigeria (FAN); Nigerian Environmental Study Action Team (NESAT), Nigerian Rural Participatory Appraisal Network ( NIPRNET), Rainforest Alliance (worldwide), Forest, Trees and People (worldwide), The Fulbright Association of Nigeria (worldwide) and The European Centre for Research, Training and Development, United Kingdom.

That being said, for the past 5 months that Prof. David took over the reins of leadership in CRUTECH, he has rendered efficient, conscientious and obtrusive but invaluable services to this great institution in tandem with the advantageous policy of His Excellency, Prof. Ben Ayade in revamping the educational sector in the state.

It’s a trite — perhaps, a commonplace to avow that there’s absolutely no perfect system. Every system has its peculiar bottlenecks that militate against development, innovations and stunt growth. Albeit, men have always risen to take up the gauntlet and CRUTECH isn’t an exception. The institution has its challenges and they’re people conjoining forces with Prof. David to take up the gauntlet and cut the Gordian Knot. The team of seasoned administrators in that citadel of learning are solving difficult problems by adopting bold and drastic measures.

Before now, the security and surveillance networks were quite porous and appalling. Cultism was canonized. Goons, gangsters and racketeers had colony on campus where they carried out antisocial activities. Obviously, the campus was gradually sliding on the precipice of Hobbesian anarchy where life is short, hellish, brutish and nasty for members of the University community until the collaborated efforts of the school’s management and that of the state’s coercive instrumentalities restored peace, normalcy and order to the system.

Being a former Examination Officer in the Department of Forestry and Wildlife Resources Management in Unical; External Examiner for undergraduate and postgraduate oral examination to the Department of Social and Environmental Forestry, University of Agriculture, Markudi, Benue State and member of Examination Malpractice Committee, Faculty of Agriculture, Forestry and Wildlife Resources Management, Prof. David has been able to bring to the table the experience garnered to solving the related problems of examination malpractice in CRUTECH to a reasonable extent.

Today, the laboratories and workshops in all the campuses are being equipped. The school’s lands are being surveyed, landscaped and walled. Staff and students’ welfare is given high premium. Grants for research are released on time. Human capital development of staff is encouraged. Measures are put in place to increase the internally generated revenues to relieve the institution of total reliance on government for funding. The institution is focusing on improving the poultry and fishery ventures in this regard.

Hand sanitizers produced from the school are now being used by the public in preventing covid-19 pandemic. Portable (drinkable) water in plastic bottles and sachets packaged from the school are being consumed by members of the public. Renovation of dilapidated structures is ongoing. Lecture venues for students are now made conducive to enhance teaching and learning.

The facts aren’t in contention that the standards set by Prof. David’s predecessors aren’t only been maintained but obtrusively taken to a new, lofty and golden height for the admiration of all and sundry. Taking a cursory look at the transformations and improvements in the institution, one would gladly agree that Prof. Ogar, David Abua like Hercules has cleansed the CRUTECH (Augean) stables perfectly well. How? Check the itemized achievements below.

The Acting Vice Chancellor upon assumption of office accomplished some uncommon task within and outside of the University community:
1. Meeting with Various Stakeholders in the University: The Ag. VC in order to have an understanding of the University community, engaged all the stakeholders in the University individually and as groups to enable him plan for the development of the institution.

2. Bill to CRHA: For the change of University name, a bill was taken by the Ag. VC to the CRHA to change the University name in line with NUC requirement. The bill has been passed by the House and awaits accent by His Excellency.

3. Campus Tour: The Ag. VC, upon assumption of office embarked on a tour of the Main Campus and the other 3 Campuses to assess facilities on ground and identify challenges.

4. Functional Medical Centers: The Medical Center at the Calabar Campus has been made fully functional, which was almost moribund as at the time of assumption of office. In keeping to his 5-point agenda, welfare of students and staff, he repaired the X-ray and Dental machines, installed a generator and repaired a borehole to supply water to the Center. Medical examination for the students and staff are now carried out in the Medical Center, hence generating money to the school, same project is on-going at the Ogoja campus. As part of staff welfare, upon assumption of office, the Ag. VC facilitated the regular and timely payment of salaries. This has been maintained since assumption of office.

5. Repair of the Main Water supply equipment at Main Campus: As a matter of urgency, the VC has embarked on the repair of water system at the Calabar Campus to supply water to the University community, including staff quarters, hostels and offices. Water being a basic need is taken as a priority to the VC.

6. CRUTECH Fountain Water: The University has successfully started the Production of table-water; producing sachet water, bottle water of 50cl and 70cl. With the successful installation of water equipment, the University awaits NAFDAC registration to start marketing of the products. This will serve as one of the IGR sources in the institution.

7. Security: To address the security challenges on campus, trained security personnel have been recruited and equipped across the 4-campuses to face the security challenges on campus.

8. Staff School (Nursery and Primary): The staff school, which have been operating without approval from the Ministry of Quality Education, have been fully certified to operate the nursery and primary schools and application for the secondary school have been made to the Ministry of Quality Education. By the Grace of God, the Secondary arm will commence study next academic session.

9. Renovation of the Staff Club: “All work, without play makes Jack a Dull Boy Money have been approved for the renovation of the staff club. Theres need for a staff club for relaxation of staff on Campus.

10. Graduate Assistantship (GAs) Placement: Before now, Graduate Assistants were not considered as staff and were placed on stipend; Council has approved the appropriate placement of GAs in line with the practice in other University.

11. Staff Verification: Approval for staff verification/auditing has been given by the Government Council of the University and the exercise is on-going. The report will help management in planning.

12. Examination Malpractice: The management has put measures in place to curb examination malpractice, extortion, corruption and sorting. So far, reaching measures have been taken, including not limited to customization of examination answer booklets.

13. Verification of Receipts: In order to address the cutting of corners by students in fee payment, the Vice Chancellor has created a Desk Officer directly under his office to verify and screen receipts of students requesting for their certificates and transcripts, to ensure that they pay fees to the university accounts. This has yielded much result.

14. Directorate of Research and Development: The Directorate of Research and Development has been created and fund attracted from TETFund. The directorate has also benefited from a conference sponsorship to Dubai from TETFund. The fund will be used to furnish and purchase utility Vehicle for the Center.

15. TETFund: The Vice Chancellor upon assumption of office, has facilitated the release of fund to the University after initial delayed. This effort has yielded result as the University has within March 2020, secured TETFund Zonal Intervention for Infrastructure Development and Research and Development. Also, the school have nominated 3 academic staff to attend conference in USA and UK to be sponsored by TETFund.

i. Secured the approval for the merger of the pending 2017, 2018 and 2019 TETFund outstanding balance for some projects. This was a major breakthrough to uplift the university infrastructure.

16. Joint University Preliminary Education Board – JUPEB: The VC upon assumption of office, signed an MOU with JUPEB and has since commenced the operation of JUPEB in the University. This programme has generated some revenue to the University.

17. Visit to the Paramount Rulers and Clan Heads of our Host Communities: Two weeks after assumption of office by the Ag. VC, he embarked on visitation to all the Paramount Rulers, Clan and Village Heads of our host communities across the 4 campuses of the University. The visits is yielding results, for instance, Ogoja campus has almost been completely fenced.

18. Sport: The CRUTECH Sport Unit through the Kyrat Club were sponsored for a competition and came as runner up in the 2019 National Competition held in the University of Benin, Edo State. They won many gold, silver and bronze.

19. Accreditation: Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Department of Accountancy participated in professional accreditation in exercise and we are expecting positive result. The University is also planning towards the accreditation of about 25 programmes in 2020 across the 4 Campuses in the University.

20. Issuance of PG Certificates: The school have issued PG certificates which have been pending since the inception of the University. In addition, the university has provided certificate folders for safe keeping of the certificates and in turn generate revenue for the University.

21. Orientation of Fresh Students: The Ag. VC revitalized Students Orientation and timely preparation of lecture time-table and teaching commencing as scheduled in the academic calendar for 2019/2020.


WATER PRODUCTION: – The VC as a matter of priority initiated, through CRUTECH Consult, the production of 50cl, 70cl bottle and sachet water with the installation of latest equipment. This is expected to be a money spinning venture for the University, hence improving the IGR to reduce being over dependent on government to meet critical needs.

THE MEDICAL CENTER:- The University Medical Center now provides basic medical services, since the installation of dedicated generator and borehole equipment. At the moment, all medical services are provided there. Medical examination for students and staff are being conducted there improving significantly the university IGR.

PG STUDENTS CERTIFICATE FOLDER:- From the innovation, the University is making some money from the folders, thereby improving the IGR.

FEE PAYMENT: – With the reintroduction of orientation of freshers and senate policy on fee payment, fee payment is very encouraging.

JUPEB: – From the operation of JUPEB, the institution is generating some money internally.

Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry:
Direct production of food and forest products such as: Rice, Cassava, Maize, Yam, Livestock (Poultry, Fish, Pigs, Goat, Sheep, and Cattle), Oil Palm, Citrus, Teak, Gmelina, etc will be encouraged.

CBN LOAN/GRANT: The University is Soliciting for Loan/Grant from CBN to go into agricultural production of Poultry, Rice and Fish.

Establishment of Renewable Energy Center/Directorate in the University in line with the State Government policy on renewable energy.
Introduction of Short term-courses in Safety, Oil and Gas, Environment, Agric.
Establishment of Wood Skill Acquisition Center for production of furniture for the University and possible commercialization.

The governor richly deserves accolades for finding Prof. David worthy to oversee the state owned University as Acting Vice Chancellor. Therefore, it’s only wise to encourage Prof. David to continue with his Midas touch in changing CRUTECH to Gold. Bravo Prof.!

Comr.(Hon) Ogar Emmanuel Oko
07056270286 or ogaremma922@gmail.com



This article is solely the opinion of the writer, Comr. Ogar Emmanuel Oko and does not in any represent the Theluminenews.


Development Consultant, Writer, Editor-In-Chief/Publisher @theluminenews.com, Public/ Motivational Speaker, Public Affairs Analyst/Commentator, Social Mobilizer of high repute.

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