APC bombards Wike over abandonment of schools constructed by Amaechi
From Paul Obiajunwo, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has flagged off the reconstruction and furnishing of 175 Basic Schools across the 23 Local Government Areas of the state.
The 175 basic schools according to the governor are in deplorable condition which he noted are making teaching and learning difficult.
Performing the flag off of the reconstruction of the schools on Thursday at the State School, Rebisi in Port Harcourt, Governor Wike said nobody would believe that the immediate past administration left schools to decay to this level.
He said that when his administration took over, the former administration did not access UBEC, pointing out that the State Government accessed the funds for the re-positioning of basic schools in the state.
According to him, after paying the counterpart fund, the state now has N5.6billion to address the infrastructural challenges of selected basic schools.
“The entire world should see that a school like this exists in Port Harcourt. Imagine the condition of schools in the rural areas. Just imagine that the past administration claimed that they revolutionised education. All they did was to construct a few schools by the roadside.
“The funds for the reconstruction and furnishing of these schools have been set aside. Therefore, funding will not be an issue. I direct that payment should be done by milestone. The contractors should be paid based on the work they do. There should be nothing like variation”.
The governor directed that the reconstruction should be holistic to improve teaching and learning in all the schools.
The reconstructed basic schools will have the following facilities: new furniture, sports equipment/facilities, Information/communication equipment, standby generator, boreholes, toilets , head-teacher office and table-top fridges.
But the All Progressive Congress in the state through its State Publicity Secretary, Chris Finebone yesterday disagreed with Governor Wike over his statement on the schools built by the former governor, Rotimi Amaechi.
Finebone said: “It is unfortunate that two years after becoming governor, Nyesom Wike is yet two understand the concept of development as it relates to visionary leadership. The governor’s comments today while flagging off the renovation of 175 schools in Rivers State underlines that.
“Wike prefers to abandon modern primary schools built across Rivers State by the Amaechi administration to renovating ancient schools built by missionaries at the start of the last century.
Now if those missionaries were to build schools for today’s computer age, they will build exactly the type of schools Amaechi built which Gov. Wike has regrettably abandoned to be overgrown with weeds.
“The ultra modern secondary schools built by Amaechi like one at Ebubu, Eleme is the type of school meant to train children for the present and future times. It boils down to choice between embarking on sustainable, world class schools or mediocre, cheap and obsolete schools that can produce competitive children for present and future ages.”
However, Governor Wike noted that his administration has awarded contracts for the equipping of laboratories of selected secondary schools and re-stocking of libraries.
He said: “While the immediate past administration used over N4billion to build one school, we are using slightly above N1billion to build one school. This is a prudent administration “.
In his remarks, Executive Chairman of the Rivers State Universal Basic Education Board, Venerable Fyneface Akah said the reconstruction is being done via the Federal Government Universal Basic Education Commission/Rivers State Universal Basic Education Board 2014-2016 Intervention Projects for Rivers State.
He said: “One great benefit the day’s event holds for education and indeed for all of us , is that it offers a time for common reflection on the very needful and yet neglected aspect of educational organisation which hitherto was a prime place.
“We appeal to community and local government leadership in the state to realise that we now live in a time when all must respond to the invitation to stand with the state government to own and ensure security of school staff and facilities provided by government for use in our various communities “.