From Jeff Amechi Agbodo, Onitsha
Residents of Ibolo Obosi in Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State have cried to the state government over looming danger caused by erosion and flood in the area over the years.
According to the residents, because of bad road their community has been cut off from the other parts of the town, a situation that worsens during the rainy season when flood always sacks the people of the area.
The worst hit was the only road connecting a Catholic mission school, St. John Bosco, and roads linking old spare parts market otherwise known as Mgbuka Obosi, as well as the one leading to Onitsha-Owerri Road. They are all impassable.
Director of St. John Bosco Institute of Technology (JOBITECH) and Administrator/Economer of St. John Bosco Youth Centre, Rev. Fr. Samuel Agudosi, conducting Daily Sun round the troubled area lamented that if an urgent attention was not given to the area, the church and the school would be washed away by flood in the cominf rainy season.
He disclosed that in the past three years, flood had killed a pregnant woman and many children in the area, adding that when the students’ hostel went up in flames last year, there was no access road to the school to enable the fire service men save the situation.
He said he met Governor Willie Obiano over the menace and equally wrote him a letter. This made the governor to immediately direct the 0 Commissioner for Works to take action, but regretted that up till now nothing has been done. He added that residents including priests, students and teachers are now living in fear due to the threat of erosion.
The priest alleged that the area has been completely cut off to the extent that no vehicle could ply the roads, especially during the rainy season, pointing out that they have to park their vehicles elsewhere and trek to the school. He said the condition of the road was threatening the existence of the only Catholic mission in the South-East. The school centre was in the verge of shutting down due to environmental problems affecting the church and the school:
“We carry out our mission chiefly in works and activities that promote the human and Christian education of the young, such as boys clubs and youth centres, schools and technical institutes, hostels and houses for young people in difficulties; parishes and mission residences, retreat houses, and the social communications sector. We are present in Akure, Ondo town, Onitsha (Obosi), Ibadan, Abuja, Kotangora, Lagos, etc.”
He said JOBITECH, Onitsha Campus, was established since 1992, with an aim to the training young people and empowering the youths and the working class through technical knowledge, as well as basic scientific knowledge:
“The non-profit making institute, especially established for the less privileged, is run by a religious congregation known as the Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB) and is present in 130 countries. In Africa, we have got houses/presences in 43 countries. The Salesians of Don Bosco (or the Salesian Society, officially named the Society of St. Francis de Sales) is a Roman Catholic religious institute founded in the late 19th Century by Saint John Bosco to help poor children during the Industrial Revolution.
“In February 2016, JOBITECH had her 12th graduation ceremony, wherein she was proud to send 244 graduates into the world, to be technicians, instructors, supervisors, science-oriented persons, planners, builders, public servants, secretaries and leaders of this great country and beyond. JOBITECH has grown tremendously in terms of student’s population from 74 when the institute was given its Federal Government accreditation under the auspices of NBTE Kaduna in July 1999, to over 240 students today; and a staff population from around 17 to over 35.
“JOBITECH contributes immensely to the training of young technicians/craftsmen and office managers for renowned industries and establishments. After so many years of existence, JOBITECH Onitsha Campus has produced 1,142 graduates from 1997 till date and about 1,166 from 1992, as qualified technicians in electrical and mechanical engineering, office technology and management, computer information technology, etc.
“An estimated 70 per cent of our graduates are now working in various industries and offices across the country, 10 per cent being self-employed and the remaining 20 per cent pursuing higher educational studies in the various schools of higher learning, here in the country and overseas as well.”
He also said that John Bosco Institute of Technology was envisaged to be a centre for excellence in studies, technical trades and skills acquisition, focusing in providing easier access to higher education for the under-privileged, and harmonizing technical excellence with human and religious values.
Other aims of the institute, he said, include, employment-oriented programmes in emerging areas of contemporary technology and service; contributing to the socio-economic development of Nigeria through job training and self-employment; boosting international linkages and collaboration in technical education through Bosco Tech Africa: “Our institute received statutory approval from the Ministry of Education, Anambra State, on June 23, 1998; has got Federal Government accreditation under the auspices of National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), Kaduna, on July 16, 1999; and has got recognition and approved examination centre from National Business and Technical Examinations Board (NABTEB) Benin City on December 14, 1999.
“On the same note, our Computer Department was given the approval by the Ministry of Education, Anambra State, on November 31, 2001. In addition, the Salesians of Don Bosco running the Institute, being duly qualified, has been admitted as Corporate of the Nigeria Computer Society on July 22, 2015.
“The upgrading of the institution (JOBITECH) to the awarding of National Diploma is in progress and hence we have paid for the license and have accomplished 10 out of 11 tasks to establish a private polytechnic in coordination with the three campus centres: Obosi, Ondo and Akure.”