Posted by Emmanuel Edukugho on
LOCATED in the heart of Lagos, precisely off Alara Street, Onike, Yaba, the CETEP CITY UNIVERSITY, apparently, got what it never expected on Monday.....
LOCATED in the heart of Lagos, precisely off Alara Street, Onike, Yaba, the CETEP CITY UNIVERSITY, apparently, got what it never expected on Monday, when a team of policemen swooped on the institution and sealed it off for failure to pay back a multi-millioni naira loan facility obtained since 2001.
Before the policemen and officials from Babington Ashare and company stormed the university at about 4.00 pm, both students and staff (academic and administrative) were going about their usual, normal activities- learning and teaching, without any inkling of what was coming.
Then, dramatically, with the arrival of the policemen and the receivers of the university buildings, tension, fear and confusion gripped everyone as they took over the whole place. The students and staff were allowed to leave, while at the same time, entry into the complex was blocked.
Vanguard Education Weekly reliably gathered that the Centre for Technology Policy (CETEP), incorporated in 1996 to promote and foster human resource development in technology management through research, training and education, took a loan amounting to several hundreds of millions of naira in 2001 from Crown Righters Financial and Investment Plc.
The loan facility was used to purchase the property at FFF Road, Off Alaka Street, Onike, Yaba, which is the location of the university and also in processing the licence successfully granted by the National University Commission (NUC).
Before this time, in 1997, a year after CETEP’s incorporation, it commenced specialist post graduate programmes at M.Sc and MBA levels in technology management and development studies in affiliation with Ogun State University (now Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye) and later Federation University of Technology, Akure (FUTA). In 1998, CETEP added Ph.D and DBA programmes into the academic activities.
After the directive of government to ban satellite campuses across the country, CETEP, in 2000, started thinking in the direction of becoming a university. CETEP was told by NUC that “it is at liberty to establish as a private university if it so desired.”
According to the brief historical background contained in the student prospectus, “these were the impetuses for CETEP to transform into a specialised, full-fledged, City University, focusing on the business of technology in virtually all areas of business-manufacturing, processing, banking and insurance, commerce, government, law, medicine, sports, tourism, religion, information and communication, environmental protection, security etc.” Just in its second year of establishment, CETEP City University has about ‘225 students undergoing degree Programmes in three faculties - Faculty of Technology, Entrepreneurship and Business; Faculty of Technology and Development Studies; and Faculty of Information and Communication Technology.
Trouble for the owners and operators of the university did not start overnight.
Since the loan to build the university was granted in 2001, the owners had failed to pay even a kobo back, while the interest continues to rise. The repeated pleas to CETEP to replay the loan fell on deaf ears.
Crown Rights Financial and Investment Plc was compelled to institute a court action as the plaintiffs against CETEP to recover its loan and accruing interest over the years. Even then, the operators did not show any genuine willingness to settle their indebtedness.But, however, the defendants (CETEP) might have seen the handwriting on the wall as judgement approached.
The Federal High Court, Lagos, gave an order of receivership of the university property by Babington Ashaye and Company which was colleteral for the loan, until the court decides otherwise, or if the defendants can pay up the loan by 19, July, 2006.
Mr. Dotun Olaoye, who affected the receivership explained to Vanguard Education Weekly as he locked up the university buildings.
“A receivership is when a third party, neutral, can enter a property as receiver in a dispute between parties to a suit.”
According to Olaoye of Babington Ashaye and Company, they are merely to take over the buildings only. The university can go elsewhere to operate.
“We are only concerned about the buildings, not about the university itself or the administration. They can go to any other place. These buildings are being locked up and taken over.”
None of the principal officers including the Vice Chancellor, Professor Akin Aju, and the Registrar, Dr. Tosin Awolalu, could be reached to comment on the take over of the University and the fate of the students as at now.
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