The Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, has signed the Higher Education Students’ Loan and Education Development Trust Fund bills into law, targeted at building the manpower base of the state.
Assenting to the two bills in Government House, Yenagoa, governor Dickson described the laws as the most revolutionary intervention in the education sector, as they would provide unique opportunities for the Bayelsa youths to advance their educational career.
The Governor, noted that, “The education sector has continued to receive priority attention, since my administration’s inception in 2012, the educational laws would provide a mechanism for sustainable development in the sector.
“The new legislation will go a long way in checking the issue of school drop-outs, due to financial constraints as provision is made for indigent students to draw from the Higher Education loan facility”.
Commenting on the Education Development Trust Fund, governor Dickson said “It was mandatory for all Bayelsans working in the public service, government officials as well as the private sector to contribute to the fund in addition to the 10 percent of the state’s Internally Generated Revenue in support of the fund on a monthly basis”.
To this end, he called on the organized labour and the people of the State to support rather than politicise the new educational policy, as the initiative would be beneficial to the average Bayelsan.
The Governor also noted that 50billion Naira has so far been invested into the education sector with the establishment of 25 constituency compulsory free boarding secondary schools, in addition to 15 model secondary schools, including the Ijaw National Academy, which has taken off.
Dickson, who announced the appointment of Prof. Turner Isoun, as the pioneer chairman of the State Education Development Trust Fund, said, the two boards will oversee the new educational schemes which will be established in due course.
Presenting the two bills for the Governor’s assent, Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Hon. Konbowei Benson said the Bayelsa State Higher Education Students Loan Bill was forwarded to the House on August 10, 2016, while the Education Development Trust Fund bill was presented on July 19, 2016 and passed on February 13, 2017.