The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, on Thursday, led other government functionaries to inspect ongoing revamp of the Edo State College of Agriculture, Iguoriakhi, Ovia North East Local Government Area of the state, ahead of the institution’s reopening.
The governor, while inspecting some facilities at the college, said the government is repositioning the school to become a world-class institution to train and prepare youths to pursue successful careers in the agriculture industry.
The facilities inspected include a 250-capacity lecture theatre, an administrative block, college library, academic block 1 and 2, college auditorium complex, health center and the college main gate, among others.
He said, “If agriculture is important to us as a nation, then we must have institutions that prepare and train very capable and competent personnel, particularly middle level manpower for the agriculture industry.
“This is going to be a classic collaboration between the government and the private sector. The Governing Council of this school is 60 per cent made up of those already in the agric business as they will help define the curriculum that will be taught. The school will not be another certificate awarding institution, rather a job creating institution. This is the unique difference, which is why I have taken over two hours inspecting facilities in the institution.
“Our goal is to make sure that every student who has the opportunity and privilege of going through this school automatically gets employed even before they finish their studies here.”
He further noted, “The institution that we are building here is of very high quality and standard. We are also recruiting quality people that will help us manage the school and run the programme. In every lecture block, you have two sets of laboratories and the equipment for all these laboratories have already been purchased, full computer laboratories.
“We have done extensive work as accreditation will not be an issue and a problem. We have sorted that out. All we need to do is to finish the physical structures and facilities.
“We are in conversation with some universities in America and one of them is likely to be working with us to design a programme to train agric extension officers or workers. That conversation began three years ago and we are still on it and are very optimistic that the conversation will yield fruit.
“Our special team is working on when academic sessions will begin in the institution. We are spending this holiday to agree on timelines and work plans to enable us to come up with a date when the school will open.”
Expressing satisfaction with the quality and pace of work at the college, Obaseki added, “We are here today and we have seen the massive progress of work despite the heavy rains that have slowed down the pace of work in the last five months. Contractors needed to slow down and readjust their schedule and today, the progress of work is visible for us all to see.”