Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has restated the commitment of his administration to uplifting the standard of education in the state.
Ortom who stated this while flagging-off the distribution of 35,000 customized chairs and tables for primary schools in the state at the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology on Thursday.
The Governor noted that his administration had continued to upgrade school facilities with more contracts for the school projects to be awarded when Government accesses the N2 billion bank facility it is processing.
“Investment in education is for the development of the society, and I am passionate about it. That is why I am repositioning SUBEB to make it strong so as to meet the aspirations of Benue people,” he stated.
He further assured that the hiring of 5,000 teachers would be carried out as soon as the existing loopholes in the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) are plugged and other forms of fraud are also curbed.
The Governor said he had directed the State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice to design a legal instrument to enable the Government to search the homes of those in the habit of converting the school furniture to personal use even as he vowed that he will never shield anyone found to be involved in corrupt practices.
Speaking on the impending recession in Nigeria which is projected to contract the economy of the country in 2020 by 3.4%, sequel to which crude oil benchmark had now been pegged at $20 per barrel with adverse effects on the Federal and State Governments, Governor Ortom said the way forward is to return to agriculture.
He appealed to the people to prepare for the recession by farming on every available arable land to produce food for sustenance and commercial purposes.
Ortom also reminded the people that COVID-19 is real and that the best way to prevent the pandemic from spreading is for them to adhere to measures such as social distancing, frequent hand washing with soap and avoiding public gatherings such as markets, burials, as well as religious and sporting events.
Earlier, Commissioner for Education, Professor Dennis Ityavyar and the Chairman of SUBEB, Comrade Joseph Utse, had commended the Governor’s giant strides in the development of basic education and the Education sector in general, even as they pledged their loyalty and support in that regard.
Daily Sun gathered that it was the first batch of 61,000 chairs and tables the Ortom administration in collaboration with Universal Basic Education, (UBEC) plans to distribute to Benue primary schools this year.
It would be recalled that over 30,000 of the customized desks and chairs were distributed to schools across the 23 local government areas last year.