Kogi State Community and Social Development Agency (CSDA), on Saturday, flagged off the rehabilitation of dilapidated structures at Government Science Secondary School, Onyedega in Ibaji Local Government Area of the state. The CSDA General Manager, Mallam Momoh Dauda, performed the flag-off ceremony of the project said to have been abandoned for more than 10 years. Dauda said that the rehabilitation work, to which over N9.961 million would be committed, was being executed under the World Bank Community and Social Development Project (CSDP).
Reports have it that the project will cover the construction and furnishing of a science laboratory at the cost of N6.065 million and provision of science laboratory equipment at the cost of N2.29 million.
Newsmen also report that renovation of a block of classrooms, which is also part of the project, will gulp N1.6 million.
Dauda, who was represented by Mrs Berida Ebunola, acting Manager, Finance and Administration, said that the project, which was in line with the agency’s Community-Driven Development (CDD) approach, was aimed at addressing infrastructural decay in the school.
He presented the cheque of N1,637,581.05, being the first tranche of support for the construction and furnishing of the laboratory, to the Chairman of Community Project Monitoring Committee (CPMC), Mr Michael Enebi.
The general manager, who urged the committee to use the money judiciously, said “this money is from the World Bank and the state government. It is meant for this project and should be used for the purpose.
“This money is not for you to be used to marry more wives or invest in businesses, but to provide infrastructure for the school so that it can come alive again”, he said.
Speaking earlier, the CPMC chairman thanked the World Bank, the state government and CSDA for granting the community’s request to rehabilitate the school for the resumption of normal academic activities.
Enebi, who was also one of the first set of students who finished from the school in 1981, said that the Old Students’ Association was doing everything possible to ensure that the school regained its lost glory.
In his own address, the Principal of the school, Edino Anthony, said that he inherited two students and 10 staffers on assumption of office, adding, however, that the student population had grown to 30 in the last five months.
Anthony said that some parents withdrew their children and wards from the school and sent them to other towns to continue their education, while those who did not have such opportunity kept theirs at home, thus truncating their education.
The principal expressed the hope that the school would pick up again from September when new students would be enrolled, assuring that no effort would be spared to resuscitate the school and restore its lost glory.
The Anegwaba of Onyedega, Chief Egbunu Aromeh, expressed appreciation to the state government and the World Bank for the intervention.
Aromeh, who is the traditional ruler of the 15 communities in the area, said that he would mobilise his subjects to give the project all the necessary support.