Oyo State Government has said it will optimise the World Bank-Assisted Better Education Service Delivery for All (BESDA) take-off grant to educate 170, 536 out-of-school children in 23 of the 33 local government areas of the state.
The news came as Governor Seyi Makinde-led administration said it is planning to create satellite towns in some communities in order to decongest Ibadan, the state capital. Ibadan is said to have a population of over three million people, making it the third most-populated city in Nigeria after Lagos and Kano States.
On BESDA, the state is expected to receive an initial BESDA grant of $3million, to begin the programme in Ona-Ara, Kajola, Surulere, Saki West, Akinyele, Olorunsogo, Iseyin, Saki East, Oyo West, Ogbomosho South, Ogbomosho North and Iwajowa local government areas.
Also, Ogo-Oluwa, Ibadan South East, Oriire, Oluyole, Afijio, Oyo West, Ibadan South East, Egbeda, Oreloope, Ibarapa Central and Ibadan North East are also expected to benefit from the project.
The Chairman, Oyo State Universal Basic Education Board, Dr. Nureni Adeniran, after a two-day interactive session held in Ibadan, on implementation of BESDA, said on Monday that the state would effectively take off the street, all out-of-school children and put them in public schools, saying the programme would cater for hawkers and Almajiris in the State.
His words, “Despite all the hiccups, I strongly believe that the essence of BESDA, which is to effectively take all the out-of-school children off the streets and draw them back to schools, will be accomplished in Oyo State.
“The state government will ensure that a total of 62,733 hawkers are taken back to school, while 107, 803 Almajiris will be taken off the streets in the Oke-Ogun region of the state. I can tell you that Oyo SUBEB has embarked on strategies that will ensure all out-of-school-children are returned to schools before Year 2022.
“Oyo state as one of the participating states in BESDA, will ensure that all out-of-school-children are brought back to schools within the years of the programme implementation in the country as a whole”, he stated.
The Head, Coordination Support Team, BESDA, Mallam Iro Umar, said Oyo State has a good team to implement BESDA project, adding that The state, through its SUBEB, has met necessary parameters and has what it takes to drive the programme to a fruitful end.
On creation of satellite towns, Commissioner for Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Mr. Abiodun Abdu-Raheem, who made this known in a chat with journalists, moments after resuming office on Monday, said Seyi Makinde administration plans to make housing affordable and available to the people of the state.
His words: “The state government under Engineer Seyi Makinde will not engage in cheap talk. We are poised to be realistic in our approach to governance by giving the best of our ability to the people that voted for the governor and this will reflect in our lands and housing policy.
“We will acquire more lands to give room for the public to have access to their choice of land at any location in the State at affordable rate. This will help decongest Ibadan and allow for further developmental projects that will help beautify the capital city and spread to the other major towns in the state.
“In our effort at decongesting Ibadan to make commercial and urbanization drive easier, the acquired lands at these communities will come in the form of Satellite Towns and serve the people, and will have those important things they crave at the city centres like Ibadan,.”
The Commissioner assured the people of the state of prompt process and dispatch of Certificates of Occupancy (CofO), which he added would come at affordable cost.