The National All Progressives Congress (APC) Media has said that Kwara State is first among its equals in the North-central states for the approach it adopted for the ongoing school infrastructural development.
The national team, led by Dr Tom Ohikere, was on a nationwide tour of APC states that received UBEC grants to assess how the funds are being utilised.
“We have seen evidential achievements of the UBEC/SUBEB projects spread across the three senatorial districts. We were amazingly stunned by the quality of the projects executed.
“The construction and reconstruction of blocks of classrooms were massive. The training and retraining of teachers have been given a top-notch priority. And this is aimed at equipping the teachers to give standard education to our children.
“Furthermore, the salaries, allowance, leave bonus and arrears, alongside the implementation of promotion of teachers are done at the appropriate time, as we have seen from our own findings.
“We note that this is largely due to proper monitoring that we have seen in the state,” Ohikere told reporters in Ilorin as he gave a preliminary report on their findings.
“This is a legendary and commendable effort, given the fact that you (Kwara) operate with an overburdened financial base.
“From what we observed, your whole approach to infrastructure development in schools is first among the equals in the north-central,” he added.
The report presentation was well attended by government functionaries, including Deputy Governor Kayode Alabi; Chief Whip Kwara House of Assembly, Hon. Ali Amuda; Chairman, House Committee on Education, Hon. Baba Saliu Boriya; Hon. Awolola Ayokunnumi; Commissioner for Education, Sa’adatu Modibo Kawu; and her counterpart in Finance, Florence Olasumbo Oyeyemi; Special Adviser Political Communication, Alhaji Basir Adigun; Special Adviser Political, Abdullateef Alakawa; Special Adviser on Strategy, Saadu Salau; state Secretary for APC, Mustapha Isowo; the Publicity Secretary, Tajudeen Aro; and Alhaji Gali Alaya; among other dignitaries.
Ohikere said they had the mandate as members of the APC News online to carry out the assessment tour of the UBEC/SUBEB projects in the state to authenticate and ascertain their standard, adding that this forms a plan to promote the activities, achievements of the APC-led administration at various levels.
He observed that the government needs to improve on a few areas like the enhancement of the curriculum of the state School for Special Needs; capacity building for the education secretaries in various local governments and the media unit in the Kwara SUBEB, announcing that they resolved to partner with the International Institute of Journalism to train some selected states on the specified fields.
He added that after a thorough inspection and evaluation, they have nominated Katsina and Jigawa from North-west; Kwara and Nasarawa from North-central; and Osun and Ogun from South-western zone to be recognized at the National Day of Public Commendation on APC revolution of basic education come in November, this year.
The Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, appreciated the team for their objective assessment of the projects executed and assured them that actions will be taken to effect some of their recommendations.
AbdulRazaq, who spoke through the Deputy Governor, Alabi, said no effort will be spared in the ongoing strive to reposition the education sector, even as he called on all relevant stakeholders to key in.
He expressed his delight at the steps the Chairman of the state SUBEB, Prof. Adaramaja, has been taking to place Kwara high and be value-driven with regard to project execution, citing a number of cases that guided his conviction about his capability to deliver on any given task.
“I am not really surprised at your appointment as Chairman of the Kwara SUBEB and what you have achieved in office because I know your antecedents as a great performer. I normally tell people that only Nigerians can fix Nigeria and only Kwarans can fix Kwara, as in the case of Adaramaja. And one day, God will pay you back for what you are doing for future generations. I also thank the Ministry of Education for the support they are giving him to succeed,” he said.
Adaramaja, for his part, said the team’s appraisal and commendation were premised only on the 50 per cent projects executed, which his agency categorised as phase one, adding that phase two will kick-start by November and will attract more laurels to the state.
The SUBEB Chairman thanked the state government for its consistent support, narrating how Governor AbdulRazaq has been committed to moving the education sector to greater heights in the state.
“What the committee has seen and worked on is just 50 per cent of our projects. We released projects for 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. By next month or so, we hope to release projects for 2018 and 2019 by the special grace of God.
“If 50% of our assessment has made us enter the first 6th in the country, by the time we are done with the remaining 50%, I don’t know which position we will reach. I’m sure that Kwara will emerge number one in the country. We still want you to come back in the next four or five months, you will see effective, efficient and prudent utilisation of marching grants in Kwara State.
“For this, I thank the governor for his fatherly role and for being on the neck of the UBEC at all times to achieve much, and for particularly supporting the SUBEB to come out flying. We will continue to make you proud,” he said.