By: VITALIS UGOH, Calabar
The Chairman of the Cross River State Universal Basic Education Board, (SUBEB), Dr. Stephen Odey, has sued for cooperation from members of the Online Media Practitioners Association of Nigeria, (OMPAN),Cross River State chapter in publicisng the activities of the board.
Odey made the appeal in Calabar when members of the association paid him a courtesy call in his office.
Odey said “this will help provide first hand information to members of the public so that the general public will not be misled”.
According to him, “we want your association to help us publicise our works, so that people out there will know what we are doing in SUBEB. When you need information, meet myself or my Information officer because everything in SUBEB is open – there is no secret in SUBEB. I believe we have established a very good relationship”.
He reiterated that his stay in office which will be two years in October has brought the revitalisation of the educational sector and the people of the state.
Furthermore, he said, “when i resumed office as Chairman, i discovered that the marching ground in the state from 2012-2015 was not accessed, so, “I came up with a rescue mission, embarked on a controversial screening by following due processes. I did the screening and we uncovered over 1,000 unqualified teachers across the 18 local government areas and today most of them have gone back to school”.
“We have built about 327 schools across the state. It is also the responsibility of SUBEB to run both primary and Junior Secondary Schools and we have built 3 Junior Secondary schools across the 3 Senatorial Districts of the State. We have built sickbay, distributed computers, solar power and other accessories to schools across the state, he said”.
Odey also threw an insight as to how SUBEB operates, adding that “before any project is executed, there must be checks and balances between the state and Abuja and EFCC”.
“The governor, he said, is so prudent such that SUBEB under his watch does things judiciously. “The governor just credited the SUBEB account with N1.2 billion, which I have notified Abuja and before accessing the money you have to sit in a panel and defend what you want to do after which you’ll be accompanied by a monitoring team”.
“It is very difficult for any parastatal to beat us because we have never conducted any teacher’s interview or recruitment and collect any money, no! We never do that. We have never collected any money from any contractor to execute a project too.
“So, we want your association to help us propagate our good works for the betterment of education in the state and beyond, Odey said”.
Earlier, the Chairman of (OMPAN), Comrade Efio-Ita Nyok,said SUBEB has been critical in the development of primary education in the state.
Nyok who lauded the rescue mission of Odey, added that, “if we don’t have the right information, there is a tendency that the public will be living in assumption which is not good. We thank you for opening your arms to embrace us, we will continue to work in partnership to ensure that education in Cross River State remains the best in Nigeria.
We also want to use this opportunity, he added “to encourage you to keep fishing out academically unqualified teachers in our primary and post primary education system”