Cross River University of Technology (CRUTECH), Alumni Association have urged all National Assembly Members from Cross River state to invest at least ten per cent of their constituency allowances in education.
The National President of the Association Mr. Eyam Abeng who stated this while briefing newsmen in Calabar said that the poor standard of education in the state was worrisome and as such needs urgent attention from all Cross Riverians.
He said that although the state government is doing it best to revive the education sector, stakeholders at all levels must support the efforts of the government to invest in education or risk destroying the future of the next generation.
Abeng who decried that Cross Riverians were not feeling the impact of the NASS members especially in the area of education noted that in other states, lawmakers attracts a lot of federal projects to their States tertiary institutions unlike in Cross River.
According to him, "The task to develop the education sector in Cross River cannot be left to the state government alone. What are the National Assembly members doing with their constituency allowances? If things continue like this we may risk destroying the next generation because of our poor standard of education.
"I have travelled to over 20 states in Nigeria which includes states in the South West ,South East and some states in the South South geopolitical zones. I have seen how federal lawmakers attract projects to their states owned tertiary institutions especially but here, they don't seem to have any interest in the education sector.
"We have heard that the federal government is about to commence disbursement of their constituency allowances. Before now information like this was exclusive reserve for government officials but today, we're all aware. So I want to urge our NASS members to invest at least ten per cent of their constituency allowances in education".
Explaining further, he said that this will go along way in tackling the high rate of criminal activities in the state as " many young people involved in crime are suffering from poverty of the brain which is a product of the fallen standard of education in the state and Nigeria at large".
While commending the Vice Chancellor of the university Prof. Anthony Owan Enoh for the rapid infrastructural development in the university, he appealed to the state government to invest more in CRUTECH.
"Cross River economy and indeed Nigeria economy can only grow in an atmosphere of quality education. If we must overcome our economy challenges as a state, the government should be ready to invest more in CRUTECH. CRUTECH should be given top priority because if we must begin to look inward for the solutions to our problems.
"Honestly, if not because of the quality of leadership we have now, there would have been no university as CRUTECH again. At some points, the university was like an orphan but we thank God for the VC Prof. Own Enoh who has continued to look beyond the challenges", he said.
Continuing, Abeng said that, " I want to reiterate our call for the state government to establish an education endowment fund where all firms operating in the state will be compelled by law to invest one per cent of their profit before tax annually to the development of education in the State ".