As part of her effort to make Kogi State the technological hub of Nigeria, the Kogi State Government on Wednesday restated her commitment to rehabilitate, revamp and reposition the Government Technical Colleges in the state.
The Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Hon. Wemi Jones, FCIB, gave the assurance after he led a team on an inspection tour of the infrastructural facilities at Government Technical College Oboroke (GTCO), Ihima in Okehi Local Government Area of the state.
Part of the inspection team is the Permanent Secretary of the education ministry, Pastor Emmanuel Idenyi; and the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon. Abdulsalam Deedat Ozigi, who accompanied the education commissioner.
Speaking with newsmen shortly after the inspection, Jones said that it had been a worthwhile experience coming here to see things for himself.
He reiterated that out of the four Government Technical Colleges in Kogi, namely: Oboroke, Idah, Ankpa and Mopa; it was only in Oboroke that the community had shown so much concern in calling and troubling him on the challenges.
”This is a sign that the people of Okehi value this technical institution and education.
”I congratulate you because we have a governor who is so interested in repositioning and revamping education to the next level in the state.
”We have to do something about this school under the leadership of Gov. Yahaya Bello”, he said.
Jones commended Hon Ozigi for showing concern about the school and for his passion for education by taking out his time to come for the inspection of the school.
”Let me say clearly that the intention is for us to do everything possible to bring back all the students that have gone, because the principal told us that many have left the school.
”From the report I have, it shows that the school had a total population of about 450 students in 2018, but today the population have dropped to about 100 plus”, he said.
He stressed the need to position the school to produce sufficient number of students that would graduate and be admitted into the newly established Confluence University of Science and Technology (CUSTECH), Osara in Kogi Central senatorial district.
He, therefore enjoined the communities to enrol their children in the school, saying, ”we have the capacity to accommodate more students than the present population of students in the school’.
He stressed that the ñame of the GTC Oboroke was already included in the 2021 budget which had just been approved by the State Executive Council (SEC) to be transmitted to the State House of Assembly very soon.
The Commissioner, however warned the communities against encroachment on the school land, saying the government would take a decisive step very soon on anyone that encroached on the school land.
Earlier, while addressing students in the school, Jones assured them that the condition of their school would soon become better.
He urged the students to help themselves by facing their studies squarely, so as to make their parents and the State proud, and prayed that their parents would not mourn over them.
Also speaking, the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon. Abdulsalam Deedat Ozigi, said that there was a dare need to rehabilitate, revamp, reposition and standardise the school for the benefits of their children and future generations.
”We have carried out the inspection and we have seen the deplorable situation in the school which is very pathetic, and it has attracted government’s attention.
Ozigi emphasised that the interest of the people was very high at the heart of the governor, but the state government could only operate within the ambit of the available resources due to the dwindling allocation.
He thanked the governor for being very listening and caring, and for giving them direction in all matters, while thanking the Commissioner for education for his support and cooperation.
The Principal of the school, Mr Salihu Ateiza, expressed gratitude to the two commissioners for considering the school for inspection and rehabilitation.
He noted that the school which was established in 1980, was presently in a deplorable condition which had made students to abandoned the school due to lack of teachers and facilities.
Ateiza urged the government to give priority to the provision of adequate teachers in the school.
Earlier, the commissioners paid a courtesy call to the Ohi of Ihima, HRH Ahaji Abdulraheem Ahmed Ogido, at his palace for his royal blessing.
The monarch commended the commissioners for the gesture, and for considering the college for upgrade in terms of facilities and manpower, saying, ”we thank you for being thoughtful of us”.