Friday 6 October 2023


By: Nnabugwu Chizoba,

The amalgamation of the then College of Technology and the Institute of Administraton way back in 1973 gave birth to what is today known as the Institute of Management and Technology (IMT) Enugu.

The 50 years IMT apart from her reputation as a legacy project is the pride of the old Eastern Region of Nigeria. In the present political structuring of Nigeria, the former region has spread into the South East and South South Zones of the Country, comprising almost all the 11 states, but one, namely: Enugu, Anambra, Ebonyi, Imo and Abia, in the South East and Cross River, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Bayalsa, and part of Delta State in the South South. (Note, the states are arranged in no particular order). It is also not out of place to deposit as a matter of fact that, the IMT, a cherished product of very high value is a pride of the Nigerian Nation.

The brief preamble above is intended to draw the attention of the public, arouse the interest and commitment of the genuine reader of this piece, the young and the old, as well as, challenge critical stakeholders of the IMT Enugu, like the State Assembly, the Alumni Association, the Student Union Government (SUG) and the Ogui, Nike and Ugwuaji communities, to take special interest about what IMT is and all other structures and institutions in the South East that are either 50 years or slightly above it.

Lovers of Enugu state, especially followers of the round leather game, football, would in a jiffy recall an incident about the Rangers International Football Club of Enugu (the pride of the East) concerning an attempt to sale it to a buyer, who was not interested in retaining the name of the club, after the purchase agreement are concluded. Well-meaning citizens of the South East, who were agitated by the absurdity of erasing the name “Rangers” appealed for retention of the name for obvious reasons and if this appeal was not to be respected that, the idea of selling the club should be jettisoned. In the end, common sense prevailed and the sale of “Rangers” was abandoned.

Another incident was the attempt to merge IMT and the Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT). This too, did not go down well with custodians of the real values of the people. The resistance that attended the proposed merger led the leaders of that time to drop the idea, after pushing it to a point that violent reactions almost erupted. This resistance, from record, was hinged on historical facts and values.

Meaningful deductions can be drawn from the two identified cases that happened during military rule in Nigeria. Presently, Nigeria is practicing democratic governance, which is interpreted to be, a government of the people, by the people and for the people. In a Constitutional Democracy, which Nigeria is practicing, the Constitution is the grand norm.

The Constitution of Nigeria is very clear in its provision that, “Protection” and “Welfare” of the citizens are the core responsibilities of government. Presently, both “Protection” and “Welfare” elude the citizens of Enugu State and Nigeria at large. It is on record that, the Enugu State Governor and other Governors of the South Eastern states are not only battling insecurity, but are confronted with a challenge of “Legitimacy” considering that, Non-state Actors share authority with them. These actors issue orders at will and the citizens obey massively, but unwillingly. This development is strange to governance. The Governors oppose and resist vehemently the non-state actors because, they (the Governors) know the implications of the activities of the non-state actors. The governors are not comfortable with the operations of the non-state actors and will never support such. The Governors are not only finding the situation unpalatable, but very difficult to curb or supress. The established fact is, the ugly situations arose in the first place due to misrule and poor governance.

The “Sit at Home Order”, which has economic and social effects is a huge source of concern and worry to both the citizens and the government and should be the pre-occupation of those close to the government, rather than disturbing the authorities with primordial, selfish and parochial issues, with no real values. Such issues at best serve as distraction to the authorities and source of pain, injury and disaffection in the land, creating acrimony and divisions between the government and her subjects.

One instrument of division being dangled presently in the face of the government by the enemies of the state and the people is the alleged plan of the relocation of IMT Enugu to Owo. The rumour about it is gaining grounds. Call it “traction”, if you like.

Some of the questions people are already asking with regard to the alleged plan of relocating IMT Enugu to Owo are the following and not limited to them:

Is there any truth in the rumour?

Why are those in authorities not speaking out to clear the issue?

What will it cause to dispel the rumour immediately, if no such plan is on-going?

Why would anybody with his or her senses intact come out with such a plan?

Why is the plan a nocturnal issue and conducted in a clandestine manner?

Pundits in the Educational Sector/Industry have also raised their own sets of questions, which include and not limited to the following:-

What will happen to the current IMT space, if not possible land grabbing?

What will happen to the infrastructure recently completed by both the federal and state governments?

Why destroy to rebuild?

The pundits have opined that, many youths are still not admitted and why can’t the state Government build another higher institution in Owo, if it desires and name it anything, but leave the IMT Enugu alone?

In the list of numerous challenges faced by the citizens of Enugu State, the least now and in many years to come is and would still be, the relocation of IMT Enugu.

The pundits as a matter of fact are already calling on the Enugu State Government to collaborate with stakeholders of the project IMT to identify and market the Tourist Values of the present location and seek more ways of exploring and realizing extensively the huge benefits of IMT in her present location.

The planned IMT@50 Celebration therefore provides an opportunity for the government to show massive support towards showcasing the rich values of IMT and her location to the globe. The State Government has been urged to embrace this challenge.

Pundits have further reminded the Government of Enugu State that, her citizens are not only suffering, but dying in their numbers from preventable and curable diseases, poverty and hunger. They drew the attention of the government to the fact that, communities are divided along sentimental lines, while noting equally that, opportunities for gainful employment in both the public and private sectors are constantly shrinking with no hope of averting them. Continuing, they maintained that, insecurity, kidnapping, armed robbery and other forms of crime are on the rise and that the intelligent, creative and able body young people in Enugu State are roaming the street. According to them “Many young people have become raw materials of the agents of destabilization. Some have turned into tools in the hands of conflict merchants, while some have become the leaders of very horrible groups”. Adding that, “the list of those classified as infant terrible is also on the increase”.

The views of some discussants towards resolving the identified challenges above are to the effect that, the focus of the government should be to provide citizens of Enugu state with better livelihood options.

The pursuit of public oriented policies with direct economic impact on citizens was recommended by the pundits who also noted that effective and efficient resource acquisition and deployment, in the midst of scarce resources, will bear positive fruits. Real problem-solving and economic recovery efforts according to the pundits are people centered thus, are not associated with white elephant projects.

According to them, the planned relocation of IMT to Owo, if it is true is a white elephant project.

Finally, the critical stakeholders listed in the paragraph above are here challenged to wade in and ask some critical questions. The fact is that, IMT Enugu is beyond the whims and caprices of few individuals and groups that are close to the Enugu State Government, who may rather than use the opportunity they have for public benefit.


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