Kogi Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Hon Wemi Jones FCIB, on Friday assured that the State Government would activate and make good use of the abandoned completed Model School facilities in the state, constructed by the federal government through the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC).
The Commissioner gave the assurance on Thursday after an inspection tour to FGN–UBEC Model School facilities at Mopamuro, Yagba East and Ijumu Local Government Areas of Kogi State.
He commended the facilitator, Alhaji Tajudeen Bisimilahi, for calling the attention of the ministry to those infrastructures, assuring that the State Government would take the necessary steps on the facilities.
”What we have seen in those places we visited today is very sad and disheartening; one would not imagine that such structures are lying fallow and not in use when we have need of such facilities in the state.
”We have to go back to the drawing board because we must make good use of these facilities that have caused the FG hundreds of millions of naira to put in place.
”The structures are wasting and we are not using it for anything; we cannot allow that to continue; we will not allow such facilities to waste at the expense of our scarce resources,” he said.
The Commissioner said he would be collaborating with SSAs on Security to the Governor in those LGAs to see how to quickly intervene to secure the structures so as to prevent hoodlums from using them as hideouts.
”We will get the full support and assistance of His Excellency Gov. Yahaya Bello, to ensure that the infrastructures are put to use,” he said.
He restated the commitment of the state government to revamp the state education sector and ensure that every child has access to quality education in Kogi State.
He noted that the state was now at the verge of completing its education law, which would make it a crime for any parent who refused to enroll any child of school age, in school.
He advised the communities to always take ownership of any public property in their respective areas, saying ”if we are fortunate that Government has put some facilities in our communities, we must take proper care of them.
”So, we urge everybody including community leaders, political appointees irrespective of party affiliation and the general public to take ownership of Government infrastructures in their locality because they are for our benefits”.
Also speaking, Alhaji Tajudeen Bisimilahi, an APC stalwart, said most of the inspected infrastructures were facilitated by him with help of God, from the federal government.
”God has used us to facilitate most of these facilities to various locations in Kogi west senatorial district.
”But when we discovered that the facilities have been abandoned and not being put to use, I decided to call the attention of the Hon Commissioner for education to them.
”We have brought the Commissioner here to come and see the kind of facilities that the state is having but have been abandoned.
”They are infrastructures that we need less investment to put them into proper use and turning them into revenue generating ventures.
Bisimilahi, an APC Senatorial Aspirant for Kogi West in 2019 election, stressed that aside being model schools with full boarding facilities, they could also be used as CBT centres for JAMB-UMTE and Distant Learning centres for higher institutions.
”These schools are designed as model schools where the best brain students can be admitted from across the state with full boarding and hostel facilities.
”We are sure that our vibrant youthful governor will do something urgent about these facilities and put them to effective use, because they are assets to our state,” Bisimilahi said.
Earlier, the Education Secretary of Mopamuro LGA, Mr Olatunde Olaniran, said he was glad for the commissioner’s inspection tour to the facilities.
Olaniran noted that the structures were constructed by the federal government through UBEC in 2014, but had since been abandoned.
”I know and I am hopeful that something would be done very soon on the facilities,” Olaniran said.
The facilities inspected included: FGN-UBEC/2014 Model Primary and Secondary School in Ijagbe, Mopamuro LGA; and FGN-UBEC/2016 Almajiri School in Aiyegunle-Gbede in Ijumu LGA.
Others were FGN-UBEC/2014 Model Primary and Secondary School in Alu/Igbo-Ero, Solar Powered ICT Centres in Ijowa-Isanlu, Ejuku and Ponyan; and Almajiri school in Ijowa, all in Yagba East LGA.
The Commissioner was accompanied by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Pastor Emmanuel Idenyi; Chairman of STETSCOM, Mr Afolabi Raji, SSA on Security to the Governor in Mopamuro LGA, Hon Sunday Moses Alumo, among others.