Why I have not formed my cabinet, by Wike
Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has said that the reason why he has not formed a full-fledged cabinet was that he is seeking capable people with a passion for the state.
He said he was not perturbed by criticisms over the delay in the formation of his cabinet as he is committed to doing what is right in the interest of the state.
The governor spoke during the submission of a report by the Committee for Accreditation and Approval of Private Schools in Rivers State at the Government House Port Harcourt.
“I have not formed my cabinet because I am taking my time to monitor and look at people who would work with a passion for Rivers State.
“Politics is involved, but you must be ready to work for the state. That is why you see that there is a delay in the formation of the cabinet. No matter the criticism, I will do what is right.
“We must work to move Rivers State forward. In doing that, we must step on toes. We can’t allow the state to be the way it is.
“I believe that with the calibre of persons who served in the committee, you have done a good job. I have confidence in the committee,” the governor said.
Wike, who stated that the setting up of the committee was necessitated by the urgent need to check the downward slide of private schools in the state, said: “People have unnecessarily commercialised education. They have become traders in the field of education. We will not allow that to continue. All those schools that you have denied accreditation, even the ones you have approved, I will look at them again. But specifically, the ones you have denied. They will not function in this state.
“I hope you went to the churches to investigate their schools. We cannot allow what is going on to continue. Some schools are collecting fees and killing our children and say they are giving them education. The 763 remainings, we will select a team to visit these schools. Any school that is not qualified to operate will not get our final approval.”
He, therefore, directed the Head of Service, Attorney-General, Chief of Staff and a committee of Permanent Secretaries to review the report and submit an implementation report.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the committee, Prof. Ozo-Mercury Ndimele, told the governor that 2,651 private schools registered for the exercise at the office of the Secretary to the Rivers State Government, whereas there are about 5,000 private schools in the state.
According to him, the committee inspected 1,888 schools while 763 schools were not inspected.
Ndimele said the committee proposed 12 recommendations to the Rivers State Governor, which include that schools should only operate in line with their approvals.
He said that those with interim accreditation had been given two years grace period to upgrade.