…hails Igbinedion University for manpower contribution to state development

The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has called on the relevant authorities in the educational sector to rethink tertiary education to enable Nigeria’s institutions to provide the needed manpower urgently for the growth and development of the nation.

Governor Obaseki made the call while receiving members of the Governing Council of Igbinedion University, Okada (IUO), led by the former Governor of Edo State, and Deputy Chancellor of the Institution, Chief Lucky Igbinedion, who were in the government house on a courtesy visit, and to invite the State Governor to the 25th anniversary of IUO.

Godwin Obaseki used the occasion to commend the University for its contributions of manpower for the development of Edo State.

The Governor who calls for a rethink of tertiary education in Nigeria, to enable the provision of the required manpower that the nation urgently needs to improve productivity, said the problem facing Nigeria is not that of exchange rate but rather that of productivity. He added that the nation is not training children to understand the line of productive.

He thanked the visionary leadership of our Founder and Honourable Chancellor, His Excellency Sir Chief Dr. Gabriel Osawaru Igbinedion, CFR, Esama of Benin Kingdom for pioneering Nigeria’s premier private and leading University, saying it has placed Edo State in good light of leading and being in the forefront of advancing education in Nigeria.

“We are privileged in Edo State to have the opportunity to host the first private university in the country and possibly in the subcontinent. This follows in the track that about 40 years ago one of our fathers founded the second state-owned University in Nigeria.

“You can see that in terms of Tertiary education in Nigeria, there has been quite a bit of pioneering efforts in Edo State and it’s a tradition we are proud of and must try to sustain.

“I am glad at the timing of this celebration and the topic chosen for this colloquium because it’s one of the issues we are grappling with in government “rethinking education as a whole in Nigeria” particularly the role and new opportunities we see,” Obaseki remarked.

The Edo State Governor further expressed, “Re-enacting basic education in the State has thrown up several issues and shows us the dislocation in educational policies and how it’s affecting the whole chain. The breakdown of our basic education is one of the root causes of irregular migration and leads to human trafficking in the State.

“We embarked on EdoBEST to change the narrative. We decided to make an education fund to encourage more students to go to school and also focused on teachers to improve the learning standards. Five years on, we can now see a reversal and rapid improvement in learning outcomes.

“As the tertiary education deteriorates in Nigeria, parents sell all they have to fund their children in University abroad and it’s costing a lot, especially with the exchange rate”.

Obaseki said in addressing this situation despite several national issues, the nation needs to focus on tertiary education.

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“We have to focus on what Tertiary education should be, how we should rethink Tertiary education to provide the manpower we urgently need to improve productivity. We should wake up as a nation as our problem in Nigeria is not the exchange rate but productivity. We are not training our children to understand this and be productive.

“We are happy that this is happening in our State, and because this is one issue we are concerned about, we would like to be part of it. I don’t have a choice as Chief host.

“I will invite my brothers from the BRACED Commission to be present at the event and order the Ministry of Roads and Bridges to do remedial work on the road leading to the Institution,” Obaseki emphasized.

The Governor said his administration has connected the 18 Local Government Areas of the State to fiber and IOU is not left out.

“We have already connected your Campus in Okada to a high-speed fiber connection and it’s our priority.

“All our Local Government Areas have been connected with fiber and we have almost 2,000KM of fiber across Edo State. It’s our priority that Tertiary educations in the State are connected as it supports distance learning.

“As a government, we support Federal Institutions and we will support you because the bulk of manpower you produce comes to work for us, and in providing social services we don’t discriminate because those that will be working for us will be contributing to the development of Edo State,” Obaseki added.

Chairman of the Governing Council, Igbinedion University Okada, Prof. Sheikh Abdulla, thanked the Governor for receiving members of the Council despite his busy schedule.

Earlier, in his opening address, Prof. Abdulla represented by Deputy Chairman of Council Prof. Abiodun Ilesanmi appreciated the Governor for the support the University has enjoyed from Edo State Government.

The address read, “We wish to commend you for the critical reforms taken by your administration in the civil service and education sector in the State. We are here to inform you of the 25th anniversary of IOU Okada the premiere private university as the Institution has produced professionals contributing to social economics development globally.

“The 25th-anniversary colloquium titled “Re-imaging Tertiary Education for Africa’s Present and Future Reality.

“We appeal to you to invite the BRACED Commission governors to attend the occasion, also, President of Nigeria Bola Tinubu has been invited as Special guest of honour, Ebele Goodluck Jonathan will also be present while you will serve as Chief host of the event.

“We appeal to the governor to help fix the bad road leading to the Institution to enhance the available infrastructure to support the 25th-anniversary celebration.”