The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has vowed to reclaim school lands encroached on by private developers across the state.
Obaseki said this at the Edo South Senatorial District Town Hall Meeting for parents, community leaders and other members of the School-Based Management Committee (SBMC) under the Edo Basic Education Sector Transformation (Edo-BEST) programme.
“Many people have encroached on lands of schools. I assure you that whoever encroaches on lands belonging to schools will lose such properties to the government,” he stressed.
He noted that his administration was committed to providing adequate infrastructure in public schools to complement ongoing reforms and improve access to quality education across the state.
The governor told members of the SBMC that the state government has awarded contracts for the provision of furniture and building of perimeter fence around schools in the state which will help to secure pupils and students.
According to him, “We have awarded two sets of contracts. We want to make sure that at the end of this term, we provide as much furniture as necessary in most of our schools.
“We have gotten the resources to do this and I thank President Muhammadu Buhari for providing a portion of the Paris Club refund, which is being used to pay counterpart fund for State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) grants. With that, we have the money to purchase furniture for schools in Edo State.”
On the school feeding programme, Obaseki said his administration will extend the programme to benefit more schools across the state, noting, “It is not cheap, but we are determined to ensure our pupils enjoy the benefits of the programme. We expect more distractions from greedy politicians but we will keep our focus.”
He added that the state government has provided more than one million textbooks for less than 200,000 pupils under the Edo-BEST programme, promising to provide more textbooks to improve learning outcomes.
“We will ensure that this kind of interaction is organised periodically to enable the government to feel the pulses of the people and know the true situation of things in the education sector,” Obaseki said.
Commissioner for Education, Hon. Emmanuel Agbale, said the town hall meeting provided an avenue for the people to interact with the governor on issues facing the Edo-BEST programme and proffer solutions to them.
Chairman, State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Dr. Joan Osa Oviawe, said 11,000 School-Based Management Committee members were trained to take ownership of the schools and help the government ensure contractors deliver on projects in schools under Edo-BEST programme.
Enogie of Egbaen, who doubles as the president of Enigies, His Royal Highness Edomwonyi Iduozee, commended governor Obaseki for the developmental strides being recorded in the state especially in the education sector.
Iduzoee assured the governor that the 135 Enigies in Edo South Senatorial District are behind him on his second term bid as governor.