Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Governor of Bayelsa State, Henry Seriake Dickson has called on the incoming administration to make more investments in the educational sector to equip the youths with the necessary skills that would make them compete favourably in a technologically-driven economy.
Governor Dickson made the call during the third matriculation ceremony of the University of Africa, (UAT), Toru Orua, Sagbama Local Government Area.
A statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Fidelis Soriwei, quoted the governor as stressing that education remains the surest way to liberating the people from the shackles of poverty, criminality, ignorance and disease that had been plaguing them.
He noted that criminality, militancy and other vices were attributable to the inadequate investment made in the education sector over the years.
His words: “My advice to the incoming government is to invest more in education. We don’t want our youths to be armed with AK 47 and other weapons of mass destruction. No one should take pride in arming youths, building militant camps and getting them involved in drug abuse and cultism. Rather we must continue to invest in education. In all our communities you see poverty, ignorance and disease and this is as a result of insufficient investment in education.
Communities are in perpetual turmoil. You see a correlation between insufficient investment in education and poverty, disease, ignorance and other societal problems. I have no doubt that the UAT has come to stay. I know that education is the right way to go for our state. The oil and gas phase is fast going away, particularly in the Niger Delta.”
In a bid to deepen the gains already made in the education sector, Governor Dickson said efforts were ongoing to hand over some secondary schools built by the state government to all the arms of the military service.
Governor Dickson stressed that, it was through such partnerships that the government and the military could jointly invest in the future of the people.
He also offered scholarship to students studying Mathematics and Agricultural Science in the university and congratulated the students on their successful matriculation.
In his address, the vice-chancellor, of the University of Africa, Toru Orua, Prof Kingston yamapfene, commended Governor Dickson for his vision for the establishment of UAT.
He maintained that the setting up of the institution in Toru Orua by Governor Dickson’s administration had liberalized education and empowered local economies.
The vice-chancellor noted that UAT is distinctive in view of its focus on internationalization in order to expose staff and students to a true universal educational experience.
He said, “already, you will have noticed that, we have among our academic staff, people who are clearly from other parts of the world.”