Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, on Monday, said that his administration had commenced the return of mission schools to their original owners.
Fayemi said this while handing over Christ’s School, Ado-Ekiti, to its original owners, the Anglican Communion.
The governor said that the handing over of the school was in fulfilment of his administration’s pledge to return all mission schools to their original owners.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Fayemi had earlier signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the return of the school to the Anglican Communion.
He said that the return of the school to its former owners would provide a template for subsequent release of other schools whose owners had also indicated interest in having them back.
The ceremony, which took place at the Governor’s Office, was witnessed by the Bishop of Anglican Communion, Ekiti Diocese, Rt. Revd. Christopher Omotunde, some leaders of the church and representatives of the alumni association of the 86-year-old school.
The governor stated that the exercise would help in building a future generation of value-driven and morally-sound individuals.
He added that it would equally assist in lightening the government’s financial burden, especially at a time when its purse was becoming lean as a result of enormous responsibilities.
The governor expressed optimism that the returned schools would assist his administration in achieving its policy thrust of reclaiming and restoring the values of education in the state.
“What we are witnessing today is a culmination of a process which began during our first term in office to return schools belonging to mission bodies to their original owners.
“I am delighted that the final consummation of the release of Christ’s School, Ado-Ekiti has been achieved.
“Our state is not the first to consummate such an arrangement between the government and missionary bodies. Other states like Anambra, Lagos and Enugu had done similar things in the past,” he said.
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In his remarks, Bishop Omotunde hailed the government’s decision on the return of mission schools to their former owners.
He particularly commended the governor for making good his promise, adding “you actually initiated the idea of returning mission schools to their original owners during your first term in office.
“We are happy that you are here today fulfilling that promise with the return of Christ’s School to the Anglican Church,” he said.
The cleric, who said that school had always been a model across the country, promised that the church would leave no stone unturned in ensuring that the school was returned to its pride of place in Nigeria.
While Omotunde and Dr Odunayo Fagbeyiro, representing the school’s alumni association, signed the MoU on behalf of the church, the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Biodun Oyebanji, and the Attorney-General, Mr Wale Fapohunda, signed on behalf of the government.