By Samuel Oyadongha
YENAGOA- BAYELSA State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Daniel Iworiso-Markson, has dismissed as untrue claims that the state government had plans to kill the state owned Niger Delta University.
He spoke against the backdrop of claims in some quarters that the governor is starving the institution of funds and stalling it’s development.
Iworuso-Markson Sunday in Yenagoa said the Restoration Government led by Hon Seriake Dickson had always placed emphasis on the critical place of education in the desire to develop the state.
He said that a government which made education compulsory and free at the levels of primary and secondary schools and built many quality boarding institutions would not execute a policy inimical to the development of education in the state.
According to him, “a government with a sinister motive will not embark on the ongoing construction of a senate building and multiple internal roads within the Niger Delta University.
“The NDU is still the most funded institution in the state with a subvention òf N350 million per month from the state coffers,” he said.
He added that the NDU had commanded priority attention among the various tertiary institutions in the state as shown by the monies allocated to each institution.
According to him, the state government spends N630 million per month as subventions in the tertiary institutions with NDU getting the lion share.
He gave the breakdown of the monthly subventions to the tertiary institutions to include NDU: N350m; Isaac Jasper Boro College of Education: N100m; College of Health Technology Otougidi: N40m; The Polytechnic Aleibiri N50m; University of Africa N75m and International Tourism Institute N15m.
“The position of Governor Dickson on education is not hidden. This is one governor that places emphasis on education as a critical tool to develop the human mind and indeed the society.
“As the leader of an administration which pays N350 million per month as subventions to the NDU, it doesn’t make sense for anybody to come up with such a claim. Do you fund an institution you want to kill?
“The fact is that the state government committee investigating the issue of the payroll fraud in the public service has discovered the inclusion of large number of redundant, non academic staff in the NDU.
“The government also decided to reduce the payment of N500m monthly subvention to the school to N350 million to put the institution on the lane of productivity. Today we have NDU table water for the first time after eighteen years of its existence.”
He urged the citizenry to ignore the campaign of calumny and support the government to implement the well thought-out policies in the interest of the state.