Imo Govt. Spends 40bn Naira On Free Tertiary Education

Imo Govt. Spends 40bn Naira On Free Tertiary EducationThe Imo State government says it has spent over 40 billion naira on its free tertiary education policy since inception four years ago.

The State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, made the disclosure at the Heroes Square in Owerri, the Imo State capital in southeast Nigeria.

He was speaking during the ongoing revalidation and verification exercise organised for Imo indigenes who are beneficiaries of the free education programme in all state-owned tertiary institutions in the state.

Addressing the students, Governor Okorocha who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Mr Uche Nwosu, noted that the state government has decided to concentrate on Imo indigenes and drop non-indigenes from the programme.

He explained that the state government has spent about 40 billion naira to sustain the policy, adding that it would have to drop non-indigenes from the scheme as Imo indigenes in other state-owned schools across Nigeria do not enjoy such benefit.

The governor, however, assured the students of the government’s commitment to sustaining the programme beyond the life of the present administration.

Drop Non-indigenes

“Nothing less than 40 billion has been spent in the last five years to sustain this free education policy.

“But as you know, our Imo sons and daughters in other schools outside Imo State are not benefiting any similar scheme in their various schools and we can’t keep shouldering their expenses.

“Like the saying: charity begins at home; we need to take care of our own first before others. So we have decided to drop non-indigenes from the exercise,” he said.

Governor Okorocha explained further that the essence of the ongoing revalidation and verification of students was to generate the accurate data of students and to also ascertain that students enjoying the programme were majorly of Imo extraction.

“The idea of this exercise is to capture (those) who are exactly Imo State citizens and to build a data base of who they are, and to inculcate in them the fact that government is training them for free, despite the very lean resources that is available to the government.

“From the form, they have to go back to their villages and get endorsement from their traditional ruler and also get endorsement from the secretary of the CGC (that is President-general).

“By that, we will know that they are from so so and so local government (and) let me tell you that some of them don’t even know their local government.

“The free education has come to stay,” he noted.

Dreams Of Better Educational Standard

In an interview with Channels Television, some of the students said that the free education programme has actually helped them achieve their dreams of a better and higher educational standard without payment.

A student said “because of the free education, I could achieve a lot in the medical school.

“I have not paid a dime since I got admission into the university (and) my siblings are here.

“If not for the free education, I don’t think there is a way we can do it but I just thank the government for giving us the free education”.

At the inception of the Governor Okorocha led administration in 2011, education was declared free at primary and post-primary levels in all public schools in Imo State.

The government subsequently extended the gesture to all the state-owned tertiary institutions on February 14, 2012, including the Imo State School of Nursing and Health Technology.

As an extension of the free education programme in November 2012, the government slashed the tuition fee of non-indigenes schooling in the state-owned tertiary institutions by 50%.

However, the revalidation and verification exercise is supposed to last for two weeks of which students are meant to take their forms to their traditional rulers and government liaison officers in their communities for identification and return the form to the state government within the specified period.

 

Okorocha Urges Youths To Support Buhari’s Anti-Corruption Fight

Rochas Okorocha Youths CorruptionNigerian youths have been advised to support President Muhammadu Buhari’s fight against corruption at all levels and put aside all political, religious and ethnic differences.

Governor Rochas Okorocha made the call at the inauguration of Imo State chapter of the Youths Assembly of Nigeria (YAN) in Owerri the state capital in southeast Nigeria.

The Governor, through his Chief of Staff, Mr Uche Nwosu, said that the anti-corruption war by the Buhari led administration was a positive move and a step in the right direction to recapture Nigeria from the hands of those who were hell-bent on truncating and mortgaging the future of the youths.

He observed that the youths had obviously been neglected by previous governments over the years and had been sidelined in the scheme of things.

Okorocha advised them to see themselves as partners in rebuilding Nigeria while he urged them to always guard against actions and utterances that were capable of derailing the visions of the present government.

The Governor believes that the Buhari led administration mean well for the youths and the entire nation.

He called for patience and perseverance even in the face of the present economic challenges, expressing optimism that Nigeria would come out stronger and better.

Okorocha Promises To Pay Workers Three Months Outstanding Wages

Rochas-Okorochao-APC-Governor-ForumThe Imo State Government is set to pay three months outstanding salaries with the recent Federal Government bail out funds made available to the state government.

During an interactive session with civil servants in the state at the conference hall of the Imo Trade Centre, in Owerri the Imo State capital, the state governor, Mr Rochas Okorocha, expressed dissatisfaction over the actions of the workers through series of protests and strikes, stressing that it is a known fact that his administration has never owed any worker since its inception and the circumstances surrounding this is a national issue and not peculiar to Imo State.

The Governor said as a way of showing his love for civil servants in the state, he approved one month post payment of salaries in addition to the 2-3 months being owed by the state government.

While commending the Governor for his intervention in the plight of workers in the state, the Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress in Imo State, Mr Austin Chilakpu told the governor that their agitations is neither political nor personal but it is for the betterment of Imo workers, adding that the workers in the state will continue to support the Okorocha-led administration.

Meanwhile, Governor Okorocha has inaugurated the committee to handle the payment of the salaries headed by the Chief of Staff to the Imo State Government, Mr. Uche Nwosu.

Imo state reveals plan to redesign Owerri master plan

The Imo state government has disclosed plans to redesign the Owerri Master plan in order to develop and beautify the state capital to a master piece which can be compared to developed capital cities around the world.

The Commissioner for Lands, Survey and Urban Planning, Mr Uche Nwosu disclosed this to journalist during a news conference in Owerri, the Imo state capital.

He said the Owerri Master plan which has been designed since 1976 has lost its beauty over the years due to the increasing population experienced in the city.

He noted that the plan to redesign the master plan is also to help decongest the city which is experiencing a very heavy traffic.

The beautification of the city, the Commissioner claimed is topmost in the agenda of the Ministry while noting that they have embarked on clearing and demolition of shanties and unwanted building in the city.

He also added that the Ministry of lands have printed new Certificate of Occupancy (C of Os) for land acquisition in the state which will prevent corruption and forging of fake C of Os as well as prevent people from erecting illegal buildings in the city.

Mr Nwosu also disclosed that the state government has approved 50 hectares of land for the construction of Marine University which is a Federal project to be located in Oguta Local government area.