By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
Governor Seyi Makinde has declared that his administration’s focus on free and qualitative education will remain unchanged
Speaking at a dinner held in honour of the Executive Secretary of the Tertiary Education Fund (TETFund), Prof. Suleiman Bogoro on Thursday, the governor emphasized that his administration would continue to make education its primary focus, notwithstanding the growing developmental concerns in other sectors.
The governor stressed thatto achieve results, his administration believes in keeping things simple and that his government has identified areas where interventions could aid the development of the state, adding that, he found relationship with TETFund strategic to the state’s agenda on quality education system.
Lauding Professor Bogoro for delivering on the mandate of the Trust Fund without bias for political party affiliation or ethnicity, the governor said leaders must learn to keep things simple and act in the interest of the nation.
“Our roadmap was well-developed before electioneering and it identified those areas where we think intervention will accelerate development for us. And education is one of them. We looked at the 20 per cent recommended budgetary allocation by the UNESCO and we looked at our annual budget for a sustainable project in education and we knew there are things we will be able to achieve for our tertiary institutions if interventions from TETFund and other critical organisations are in place. Knowing that there is a lot of discretionary approach to the utilization of their funds, I thought if there is anyone in this whole country that I need to develop a good relationship with, it would be the Executive Secretary of TETFund”, he said.
Governor Makinde added, “when we met during the electioneering period, Professor Bogoro explained to me that TETFund is apolitical and this night is a demonstration of what we spoke about at that particular time. One thing I have learnt from Professor Bogoro is to make an impact. As leaders, we just have to keep it very simple”. “I want to thank you for your leadership at TETFund, for being apolitical, and for looking at your duty as an assignment for the entire country, irrespective of ethnic background and political leaning. This is the kind of leadership we deserve in this country, and that is what can take this country out of the woods.”
TETFund Executive Secretary, Professor Suleiman Bogoro while speaking lauded Governor Makinde for his administration’s commitment to the development of education sectorsaying, “any leader that recognizes human capital as the foundation for development has established the basis for competitiveness in wherever that leader is presiding over.”
“Any leader that recognizes human capital as the foundation for development has established the basis for competitiveness in wherever that leader is presiding over. For that reason, I respect Governor Makinde and the entire people of Oyo State that are supporting him to do all these,” he said.
Professor Bogoro stressed that the governor has raised the bar in terms of increasing annual percent funding for education, saying, “I am told it is 23 per cent and that is definitely one of the highest in this country. I am not sure if there are more than two or three states, if any, that may surpass that percentage.”
“That is commendable.It shows the priority that Governor Makinde gives to education. For me, I am not surprised because we are in the South-West where it is said that in education, they lead, and the rest of the country follows”. The TETFund Executive Secretary pointed out that having listened to eight of tertiary institutions being supported by TETFund in Oyo State, he was not disappointed, as the Trust Fund has been getting the best value for its money, adding that the Trust Fund will continue to support institutions in the state.
“Today, what I saw in Ibadan in the three institutions that I commissioned projects; I was not disappointed. A number of TETFund infrastructure in U.I that were inspected are very likely to be completed within the next two months; Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Education and the rest. We are getting the best of value with TETFund money that we are putting into Oyo State and I can assure you that having eight of institutions that are doing well as we have in Oyo State, we give them discretionary concession of additional funds.”