Obaseki charges tertiary institutions on alternative sources of funding
… As Edo First Lady, three others bag honorary fellowship
The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has urged tertiary institutions in the state to explore alternative sources of funding to ensure the viability of the higher institutions and address the issue of paucity of funds.
Obaseki gave the charge while delivering his speech at the 3rd and 4th Convocation Ceremony of the Edo State Polytechnic, held at the school’s main auditorium in Usen, Ovia North East Local Government Area of Edo State.
The convocation ceremony also featured the conferment of honourary fellowship awards on four Nigerians, including the Edo State First Lady, Mrs. Betsy Obaseki, for their contribution to the development of the state and the country.
Other awardees are Managing Director/CEO of Starzs Marine and Engineering Limited, Engr. Greg Ogbeifun; renowned lawyer, Sir Oladipo Okpeseyi SAN and the General Superintendent of Gospel Light International Ministries (New Covenant Gospel Church), Rev. Dr. Felix Ilaweagbon Omobude.
Some guests at the convocation ceremony include Commissioner for Education, Dr. Joan Osa Oviawe; Esama of Benin Kingdom, Chief Sir Dr. Gabriel Igbinedion; former governor of Edo State, Chief Lucky Igbinedion, and former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Benin (UNIBEN), Prof. Osayuki Oshodin, amongst others.
The governor, who was represented by his deputy, Rt. Hon. Comr. Philip Shaibu, listed some of the areas to be explored to include endowments, grants, consultancy services, and commercial ventures, among others, adding, “Institutions should also promote and encourage inter-institutional co-operation and international linkages in sourcing for funds.”
He said, “The state government is of the firm position that the primary mandate of our tertiary institution shall be teaching, research and community service. It is also of the view that their programmes shall be relevant to meet the needs of the State and engender development.”
Obaseki restated that his administration remains committed to upgrading facilities in tertiary institutions in the state, noting that the government undertook fundamental reforms in the education sector in order to produce the required human capital for the economic development of the State.
According to him, “The state government will ensure accreditation of all courses by relevant statutory bodies. Our tertiary institutions must promote and encourage scholarship, entrepreneurship and produce skilled manpower relevant to the needs of the labour market.
“These goals, they shall pursue through quality student intake; quality teaching and learning; research and development; staff welfare and development programmes; high standards in the quality of facilities, services and resources, and provision of a more practical based and technology-driven curriculum relevant to the needs of the labour market.”
Obaseki said his administration took bold steps and hard decisions to achieve its objective of turning the institution into a world-class polytechnic.
The governor noted, “The process of remodelling this institution by the state government commenced with the setting up of a panel to examine, amongst other things, the operations of the school since inception and make recommendations that will refocus and redirect it on the path to greatness, by realizing its primary mandate as a technology-based institution.
“Thereafter, government issued a white paper to give effect to the recommendations of the panel. This was the turning point in the life of the institution.”
The governor celebrated the first lady for her award in recognition of her role in putting an end to gender-based violence, discrimination and subjugation of women and girls.
On her part, Betsy Obaseki noted that with the current educational development in Edo, the state will soon become the hub of technical manpower for, not only the state, but Nigeria at large.
According to her, “What is happening here today is not a mistake and if we continue in this way, our institution will produce great technical manpower to service industries across Nigeria. The country needs Edo State for its development.”
In his convocation speech, the rector of the polytechnic, Prof. Abiodun Falodun commended the governor for his commitment, focus and determination in repositioning the institution.