Tony Osauzo, Benin
Edo State Government, has explained why it sacked its employees at the College of Agriculture, Iguoriakhi, saying the affected workers were no longer doing their jobs.
Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resouces, Mr. Monday Osaigbovo, who spoke during a chat in Benin, said the number of staff in the college were higher than students in the institution.
He also stated that there was infighting among the staff of the college, pointing out that the school could not grow in a situation where the workers were always fighting.
The sacked workers last week protested, saying the termination of their appointment did not follow due process. They have also sued the state government at the Industrial Court in Akure.
But apparently not bothered by the action of the sacked workers, Osaigbovo disclosed that a revamped College of Agriculture would be unveiled before April next year and explained that the private sector is expected to play a role in the new college by building workshops in the school where students could go for practicals.
He is confident that students to be trained from the new institution would be employers of labour.
“The Governor took the action for laying off the workers and paying them as a result of the workers not doing their job. That is the basic truth. If you ask them, they belonged to different fighting factions. The school cannot grow in such a situation.
“There was in-fighting among the staff. There were no longer students in the school. The staff were more than the students. When you finish from a specialised school, you should be able to employ yourself or somebody will be running after you. That is how the school of agriculture ought to be. That is what we want it to be.
“Before the first quarter of next year. We are expecting a college that the students that graduate from there should be able to employ themselves and companies will be waiting for them to graduate to employ them. It is a college of both the private sector and government.
“The role the private sector will play is that during the students programme, they will be going to the private firms for training. The private sector will be in the board of the school. They will have workshops in the school for practicals. We are bringing in a research institute like Nigerian Institute for Oil Palm Research. They will be part of the new College of Agriculture. Any student that finish from the new college do not need to be searching for jobs. They will employ themselves and also employ others,” the commissioner said.