– Imolites react angrily over ex-governors claim
President of Rochas Foundation for Africa and former governor of Imo State, Senator Rochas Okorocha has said that the Eastern Palm University, Ogboko, Imo State, was not established for profit making, but to provide knowledge for Children from less-privileged families across African nations.
Okorocha who as governor of Imo state established the school with public fund while addressing newsmen at Ogboko recently explained that it was out of patriotism that he gave Imo people 10% share while giving Rochas Foundation 90% equity share .He called on the government of Senator Hope Uzodinma to relinquish the 10% if it does not know what to do with it.
He also stated that he has nothing else to achieve in life than to see that most Children do not miss education because of the circumstances of their births. The former governor, spoke at the third matriculation ceremony of the Eastern Palm University on Monday, December 7, 2020, at the Institution’s Campus, at Ogboko, Ideato South LGA while assuring that the University will be Centre for Excellence, in Africa.
He revealed that the University was established under the Private Public Partnership (PPP), with Rochas Foundation and Imo State Government involved, in equity holdings adding that while Rochas Foundation has ninety percent in the arrangement, Imo State Government has a mere ten percent, equity share.
“The Rochas Foundation College Ogboko was originally located in this premises. And we had the plan to establish Rochas Foundation University. We had begun to do that before I became governor. When I became governor, the state government did some of the roads here. And considering what the Foundation had done and what the state government contributed, the 90 percent and 10 percent ratio was arrived at. The state government can also sell off its ten percent so that the University can be one hundred percent owned by the foundation.
“That was the idea behind my establishing the Rochas Foundation Colleges in about sixteen states in the country. And today, we have Rochas Foundation College for Africa. And we have more than twenty-five thousand students in all these colleges. And we have in our record about six thousand graduates, the foundation had sponsored to graduate across the Universities in the country. So, the Eastern Palm University will help a lot in this regard.
“When I was governor, my government had established five other Universities also under the PPP arrangement and they were all licensed by the NUC. But today, only the Eastern Palm University is functioning, the other five Universities have been closed down including the University of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences Aboh/Ngor-Okpala, University of Arts and Sciences, Omuma Isiaku Nkwerre”, he reiterated.
Senator Rochas Okorocha who did not state or explain in what capacity he was addressing the matriculating students since he is neither the Vice-Chancellor nor chairman of the governing council or visitor, announced that a new chairman in the person of the former President of Liberia, Mrs. Sirleaf Johnson has been appointed as the Chairman of the University’s Council, adding that the Eastern Palm University has become the first Institution to be established under the PPP arrangement in the country.
He continued “in the next academic session, the University will offer 190 deserving students, with 10 from each of the nineteen Northern States scholarship. And 250 opportunities will be given to the five South-East States, while Imo alone will have 100, then, the South-West and South-South States will have five students each.
Keen watchers of the unfolding drama and controversy, over the real or authentic ownership of Eastern Palm University Ogboko have however faulted Okorocha on two issues, he made public. They therefore challenged him to prove that the university was initiated and established for the poor, the “have nots” as he declared when school fees per academic session in the so-called university is never less than
N500,000 per student and how on earth does he encourage PPP when he is asking the state government to divest their own share of the 10% equity, to him or his so called foundation diverting to the state which he acknowledged did some roads forgetting that the land upon which the university was constructed was acquired by the state government.