Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, on Wednesday disclosed that the state had committed about N46bn to funding of state-owned tertiary institutions in the last seven years.
Besides, he said that the School Governing Board (SGB), a novel participatory model of school management system introduced by his administration in 2016, which accommodates the stakeholders in the day-to-day running of public secondary schools, had so far attracted funding to the tune of N15bn.
Ajimobi stated this while inaugurating the ultramodern Oba Akinbiyi Model School at Mokola, Ibadan, one of the model schools constructed by his administration.
The governor had earlier in the day sworn-in 11 newly-appointed permanent secretaries, while he later inaugurated the newly-constructed Ijokodo-Apete Road, now named Ambassador Olu Saanu Road, as well as Challenge-Efunsetan Road named after the late former Governor Lam Adeshina.
The governor said that his administration’s scientific approach to his mandate informed the organization of two education summits in the 2012 and 2016, which identified major gaps in the education sector.
According to him, a significant part of the gap was infrastructural decay in the school system, consequent upon which the state embarked on the provision of world class facilities in public schools with a vision to deliver quality education across the state.
He said: “As an administration, we have presided over the most focused, prudent and responsible management of available resources for the maximum benefit of our people for eight years.
“Underpinning every step we have taken is our desire for quality in whatever we do. Aside from the three model schools, renovation of several blocks of classrooms in over 100 secondary schools across the state was recently carried out to create conducive learning environment.
“We have spent close to N46billion on the funding of state-owned tertiary institutions in the last seven years. If you divide it by seven, it means we have spent close to N7bn every year on education.
“Contrary to some uninformed opinions, this administration has succeeded in repositioning all tertiary institutions owned by the state, setting them on the path of financial prudence for sustainable management and development.”
The governor said his administration’s desire to make tertiary education more available informed the upgrade of Oyo State College of Education, Lanlate to an autonomous college, and the College of Agriculture and Technology, Igboora from a monotechnic to a polytechnic.
Similarly, he said that Oke-Ogun and Ibarapa Polytechnics, which used to be satellite campuses of The Polytechnic Ibadan, were upgraded to full-fledged polytechnics.
On the gains of the SGB policy, the governor said that over N8bn had been committed to the management of public secondary schools by the stakeholders, aside the 7billion which government had also spent on renovation of schools.
He said that the financial, manpower, logistics and intellectual contributions made by the stakeholders,, including alumni associations, parent-teachers’ association and community leaders, among others was a reflection of the popularity of the policy.
The governor also said that his administration had made huge impact in education, health, agriculture, urban renewal and other areas.
Ajimobi said: “The greatest innovation we have made is the introduction of SGB. We have close to 628 secondary schools in the state today which are being managed by stakeholders in all the communities where the schools are situated.
“I’m happy to inform you that since we started the policy, the stakeholders have contributed close to N8bn, while government has spent over N7bn so far. We are so happy that the resultant effect has been that in the past 18 years, we recorded the best results in public examinations in 2018.
“These efforts are not limited to secondary schools. Through the Oyo State Education Trust Fund which we established, we have carried out renovation of many schools, including the five technical colleges.
“The State Universal Basic Education Board also carried out massive construction and rehabilitation of public primary schools in our bid to making learning environment child-friendly.”
In his address during the inauguration of the new permanent secretaries, Ajimobi admonished them to place public interests above personal interests in the true spirit of their oath of office and allegiance.
He also harped on the need for confidentiality, reminding them that they swore not to divulge anything made known to them by virtue of their positions.
The governor urged them to contribute meaningfully to the socio-economic development of the state and to cooperate fully with the incoming administration in order to move the state to the next level.
He said: “I urge you to be more hardworking and you must be loyal to the government of the day. To whom much is given, much is expected. The enviable position of a PS is the peak of any civil servant’s career and it comes with a huge responsibility and commitment.
“We have been able to raise the bar of governance in this state and we want you to assist in sustaining this incremental raising of the bar by being more dedicated and committed.
“Do your best and leave the rest; move ahead of your followers and subordinates at all times. As a leader, you may not be appreciated today but you will be appreciated tomorrow, because the world is replete with cultural, political and spiritual leaders who were not appreciated while in office or alive.”
The governor advised other civil servants to be alive to their responsibility with the expectation that they would also be rewarded in one way or the other.