Priscilla Ediare, Ado-Ekiti
The Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi, on Wednesday, brought smiles to the faces of the people of Ipao Ekiti in Ikole Local Government when he inaugurated the Town Hall which had been under construction for over 25 years.
The Governor who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi, described the inauguration of the project as historic for the people of Ipao Ekiti, said the second anniversary of his administration was an opportunity to celebrate impact of governance in the grassroots.
According to a statement by the Special Assistant (Media) to the Deputy Governor, Odunayo Ogunmola, other projects inaugurated included multipurpose hall and lock-up shops in Imikan, Ikole Ekiti and a block of renovated classrooms at AUD High School also in Ikole Ekiti.
The people of Ipao Ekiti hailed the Governor for providing funds for the completion of the project through Ekiti State Community and Social Development Agency (EKSCDA) after it had been abandoned for quarter of a century.
Residents of the communities where the projects were commissioned hailed the Fayemi administration for spreading development to the grassroots and giving them a sense of belonging in execution of capital projects and making them to feel the impact of governance.
The Governor also performed the laying of the foundation stone of a 6,000-capacity student hostel and skills acquisition workshop for the Entrepreneurship Study Centre at the Ekiti State University (EKSU) as part of activities marking two years in office.
Speaking at Ipao and Ikole, Fayemi urged the people to take ownership of the projects inaugurated which he said were put in place to bring the touch of modernity to them and boost social activities.
He advised that the facilities should be put to good use and should not be vandalised for any reason to encourage government to execute more projects in conjunction with EKSCDA in the future.
A community leader in Ipao, Mr. Femi Babatunde, said the completion of the town hall project wouldn’t have been possible without the grant made available by EKSCDA hailing the government for remembering the community.
Also, a community leader in Imikan, Ikole, Mr. Segun Adelugba, said the hall commissioned would be a poverty alleviation project as community members now have opportunity to hold ceremonies at subsidised rates with the revenue generated to be ploughed into maintaining the facility.
Speaking at the inauguration of classroom project at AUD High School, Ikole, the Governor disclosed that his administration has been able to execute many projects in public schools because of the payment of over N7 billion counterpart funds to the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC).
Fayemi said execution of projects were stalled at public schools in the state for about three years because the last administration refused to pay counterpart funds to UBEC.
The Governor disclosed that a total of 790 schools were renovated while 320 new ones are being built to give more access to education in every part of the state.
The Chairman of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Prof. Femi Akinwumi, who was represented by a Board Member, Dr. Kayode Adeoye, said the project was funded under UBEC/SUBEB 2018 Project.
Akinwumi appealed to parents to send their wards to public schools which have been repositioned for the children to benefit from government’s huge investment in public schools.
Speaking at the turning of sod of the two massive projects at EKSU, Governor Fayemi said his administration was not oblivious of the accommodation deficiency confronting the students of the institution.
Acknowledging the fact that the institution had been without hostels since its establishment, the Governor said the project to be carried out under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) will proffer a lasting solution to the long running problem.
He said: “As a responsible and people-oriented government, we are here today to break the jinx of many years. It gladdens my heart to turn the sod for 6,000-capacity bed space hostel accommodation, under the PPP.
“The project which is expected to be the first of its kind in the state-owned universities in the Southwest, Nigeria, considering its size, facilities and rates, is to make our teeming students have a new orientation about campus lives and living in hostels.
“I have interacted with the investor and from the discussion we had, as a government, we are convinced that the job shall be delivered on time, as well as to specification.
“The Skills Acquisition Workshop is the brainchild of the management of this citadel of learning to ensure that their students are also knowledgeable in entrepreneurship in addition to formal education within the institution.
EKSU Vice Chancellor, Prof. Edward Olanipekun, said the two projects would be monumental achievements in the university under the administration of the Visitor, Governor Fayemi when completed.
He hailed the Governor for giving the university the support needed to secure final accreditation for its MBBS medical programme by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) and full accreditation for 18 programmes by the National Universities Commission (NUC).