Kogi Educ. Commissioner Lauds Bello for Prioritising Education.
* Hikes Budget to 30%.
The Kogi State Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Hon. Wemi Jones, FCIB, has commended His Excellency, Gov. Yahaya Bello (GYB) for allocating 30 per cent of the 2022 budget to the state’s education sector, describing it as ”a massive investment”.
The Commissioner made the commendation in an interview with journalists in his office on Monday in Lokoja.
It would be recalled that His Excellency, Governor Yahaya Bello, had on Thursday presented a total budget estimation of N145,896,072,913 to the State House of Assembly.
The 2022 Budget, tagged: “Budget of Accelerated Result,” was designed to achieve important macroeconomic goals while ensuring effective delivery of good governance.
According to Jones, “this is the first time in the history of Kogi State that we would have a governor who is genuinely interested in building the future of the state especially in the area of education.”
He noted that the Governor’s Massive investments in Kogi education sector had resulted into the corresponding growth in students population and quality of education across Kogi State.
Jones commended the Governor for ensuring that the new Confluence University of Science and Technology (CUSTECH) Osara, went from conception to confirmation to construction, and to curriculum activities under one year.
He streesed that CUSTECH was designed and built to provide first-grade training in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines for the teeming youths.
He added that the Governor’s plans for the institution in 2022 Budget would greatly move it forward towards the aim of ensuring that it quickly becomes comparable to any similar school anywhere on the globe by leveraging on ICT and artificial intelligence (AI).
”What the governor is doing is monumental. I keep saying it and I will continue to say it that hardly will you find a regular everyday politician that would want to invest so massively in education.
”Because when you invest in education, there is no immediate political benefit you get from an investment into education.
”For instance, if you are investing in Secondary school education, a child that is going to secondary school is about 10 to 12 years old.
”As a governor, that child would not be of any electoral benefit to you throughout your stay in office because you would have finished your tenure before that child will eventually turns 18 to be able to vote.
”I see that what the governor is doing in Kogi is an investment and an enduring legacy that would outlive him, which the people would continue to talk about.
”I doubt if there is any state in Nigeria that has devoted as much as 20 per cent to the education sector, but GYB said that 20 is even too small and moved it to 30 per cent.
”I think the governor deserves the praise of everybody because he is not looking at now, but far into the future,” Jones said.
The commissioner stressed that the governor was not looking at the regular type of education accustomed to, but building the state in areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
This, he said would make Kogi people to benefit ultimately by the time the full exploitation of the State’s huge deposits of mineral resources would commence.
”We don’t want to be like some people who have huge deposits of natural resources on their soil but they are not able to benefit because of their inadequate education level.
”Our people is going to benefit massively from what the governor is doing in Kogi now and in the future,” he said.
He noted that the state was already benefiting from the effects of GYB’s intervention in the education sector.
According to Jones, in 2019, Kogi State recorded 52 per cent pass in WAEC examination, and was rated 28th out of the 36 States of the federation including FCT.
He explained that because of the governor’s ingenuity and intuition coupled with his massive investment in education, the state scored 67.2 per cent in WAEC in 2020 and moved from 28th to 14th position out of the 36 States and Abuja.
He stressed that Kogi State was already witnessing progress as far as education was concerned, saying ”we intend to sustain this and improve on it, God helping us!
”Also, the type of learners we want to produce in Kogi State are those that after graduating from school would not be mere job seekers.
”We want people that would be self employed because of the type of teaching we are going to be exposing them to.
”We want to build and train youths as entrepreneurs, using technology vocational training (TVT), for them to be able to occupy themselves and subsequently occupy other people.”
He stressed that the governor had provided a template for everybody to benefit and urged the people to key into it, saying opportunities like this do not happen all the time.
He, therefore advised the good people of Kogi State to to take advantage of the opportunities that have availed themselves now and benefit massively from them.
Jones added: ”We are sure in few years from now, Kogi State would be said to be the most improved state in Nigeria educationally”.