The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) says it has made provision of N2billion for renovation of Secondary schools in the region.
The Managing Director of NDDC, Mr Nsima Ekere, who disclosed this while addressing the executive of Regina Coeli College, Essene Old Boys Association said the move is part of the Commission’s determination to make a difference.
Ekere assured the association that their alma mater would benefit from the renovation.
He regretted that the school which used to be a centre of excellence in education was presently bedevilled with dilapidated infrastructure.
According to him, this is the lot of many schools in the Niger Delta region.
“This is what has made NDDC to be intervening actively in the renovation of schools. This year, we have made a provision of N2 billion for the renovation of schools in the region.
“We have an extra one billion Naira for schools in Akwa Ibom State and some of this will definitely be extended to Regina Coeli College.”
The NDDC boss noted that education was key to the development of the society, adding that it was also a tool in the fight against insecurity.
According to him, if you educate the minds of the people, and educate the minds of the youths, they will know that violence is not an option.
“They will concentrate and channel their energies and resources toward sustainable livelihoods rather than engage in violence and criminality”
Ekere said that the NDDC was determined to support education at all levels, adding “we know that the state governments in the region are doing a lot in the education sector, but being an interventionist agency, we will see where gaps exist and fill them.”
He expressed the readiness of the NDDC to work with the association to restore the dilapidated facilities.
Earlier, President of the association, Chief Clement Isok said that they were eager and desirous to restore the college to its former glory as one of the elite secondary schools in Nigeria.
He said that the school was once “the toast of the 60s and 70s with educational and infrastructural facilities that were second to none and was the undisputed choice of parents nationwide for the training of their wards”.
“The College is presently bedevilled with an avalanche of problems. For instance, the College has no perimeter fence, thereby exposing the students and staff to serious security threats.
“The main entrance to the College and internal roads have been washed off by erosion and have become inaccessible. The Academic block, Chapel, dormitories and staff quarters have all deteriorated to various stages of disrepair.
“More pathetic is the fact that the College Assembly/Dining Hall which has been the pride of the students has gradually degenerated into a prison-like cafeteria with blown off roof.”