The Government of Imo State has started thinkering with modalities for resumption of schools in the state.
The government said that it will soon meet with stakeholders in the Education Sector, including parents and heads of private and public schools to collectively work out the re-opening modalities in line with COVID-19 protocols.
Consequently, the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) has fixed August 4 to September 5, 2020, for students writing their West African School Certificate Examinations.
At the end of the weekly Executive Council Meeting held at the Sam Mbakwe Executive Chambers on Wednesday, presided over by Governor Hope Uzodimma, the government agreed to set modalities in motion for resumption of schools in Imo.
The Commissioner for Education, Prof. B. T. O. Ikegwuoha was directed to interface with the stakeholders to work out the modalities on seemless resumption of schools.
Briefing journalists after the meeting, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Declan Emelumba accompanied by the Commissioner for Lands & Survey and Commissioner for Transport, Enyinnaya Onuegbu and Rex Anunobi respectively, also said that the Council commended the Governor for the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) he signed with Julius Berger Nigeria PLC to work on Owerri-Orlu and Owerri-Okigwe Road.
Emelumba said that the Executive Council commended the efforts of the administration of Governor Uzodimma in the areas of road rehabilitation and reconstruction already completed and/or on the verge of completion. The roads include: Ideal Hotel to Federal Secretariat Road, Aladinma Housing Internal Road, Lake Nwaebere-Umuchima Street, and Chukwuma Nwaoha Road. Others include: Arugo Street, Okoro Street, Assumpta to Umuguma Road (partly aspalted), Oparanozie and Edede Streets, Okoro Street (Completed), and West End leading to Old Nekede Road as well as Douglas Road which is dualised, with one side completed.
He said that government commended the administration for demolishing the tunnel at the House of Assembly-Port Harcourt Road Junction which has been a threat to life and property of Imolites, describing it as “a right step in the right direction.”
On health matters, the Council noted that the state now has the capacity to test over 50 people daily on COVID-19 and that an Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) which is now in existence in Imo State is one of the best in the country.
Also, the Council noted that following the rot in the Imo State University, government has set up a committee working on a whitepaper that will soon be made public. It also said that despite the monumental fraud and revenue leakages in the university, the workers have been paid their salaries and allowances up to May 2020.
It, however, frowned at a situation where the university could not pay workers their February salary after government had released January and February subventions to the university authority. To this effect, government has directed the Commissioner for Education, Prof. Ikegwuoha to issue a query to the Vice Chancellor of the University on why she could not pay when the money had been released to her.
Government also discovered that a company called Tenssy Professional Services which collects school fees for the university is also owned by the son of the Vice Chancellor, and that the same consultant collects fees from other tertiary institutions in Imo State. Council, therefore, decided that the company should seize forthwith from collection of fees for Imo State University and any other tertiary institutions in Imo State.
Council also commended Governor Uzodimma for his courage to fight the payroll fraud in Imo State, which has the positive result of government being able to pay all workers and pensioners in the state, reiterating that the days of payroll system have been abolished as all salaries and pensions are now automated.
The Commissioner said any worker who has not received his/her salary has issues either with BVN, account number or employment history, and that government has given all workers who have genuine complaints one month to lodge such complaints on the website that will soon be launched by the State Government.