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Okowa canvasses inclusive governance to end agitations

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Okowa

‘Delta spends N457m monthly on empty lecture halls in three institutions’
Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, has canvassed an all-inclusive governance to end agitations from all segments of the country.

Okowa made the call yesterday when Executive Chairman and commissioners of the Federal Character Commission (FCC) visited him in Asaba, stressing that only fairness and equity could guarantee the loyalty of Nigerians in political appointments, projects and civil service.

He said the rest of the country should understand that those residing in the creeks and coastal communities of the state had special plight, insisting that once there was equity and fairness in political appointments, civil service, social amenities and development, Nigerians would naturally show loyalty to the country.

FCC Chairman, Dr. Muheeba Dankaka, said the commission visited Delta State to acquaint themselves with the realities in the state as part of its mandate.

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She assured that the commission would continue to do its best in discharging its responsibilities to ensure a sense of belonging for all Nigerians, and commended Governor Okowa for the warm reception accorded her and her team.

MEANWHILE, Commissioner for Higher Education, Prof. Patrick Muoboghare, yesterday, disclosed that the state government wastes N457m monthly on empty lecture halls in its three colleges of education

Speaking in Asaba, Muoboghare explained the reasons for the upgrading of three higher institutions to university status, saying: “The state spends N457m monthly on the Warri, Agbor and Mosogar colleges of education, with 2, 888 students and 1, 893 employees.

“This amounts to a staff and students ratio of 1:1.5 students to each staff and for us, that is wasteful expenditure.”

The commissioner, who lamented the waste, pointed out that the state government was thinking of closing the colleges, but would not do so.

“If we upgrade one to a university and the other two run their programmes, National Certificate of Education (NCE) students will have somewhere to aspire to for their degree programmes. That informed our decision to upgrade one of the colleges of education to a University of Education,” he stated.

Explaining why government took the decision, he said: “A neighbouring state has 14, 000 students in the university with salary bill of N250m, while Delta has a student population of 2, 888 at the NCE level with salary of N457m.”

Muoboghare also disclosed that the state government deemed it necessary to follow Federal Government’s policy of phasing out Higher National Diploma (HND) programme, which was why Governor Okowa sent the bill to upgrade the schools to the State House of Assembly.

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