Mr. Victor Okonkwo, the Managing Director, AITEO Eastern Exploration & Production Company Limited, who represented the Company’s Vice Chairman (left), former President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan and Bayelsa State governor, Henry Seriake Dickson, at the launch of the Bayelsa State Education Development Trust Fund in Yenagoa…yesterday
Former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan has saluted the efforts of the Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, in educational development, saying he has surpassed expectations.
Jonathan, who gave the commendation at the launch of the Bayelsa Education Development Trust Fund in Yenagoa, Bayelsa state, noted that the governor’s decision to deploy the tool of education to the development and emancipation of the society was the right way to go, noting that the initiative and landmark achievements of the governor would outlive him. Jonathan, who said the efforts of the present administration was in line with his educational policy to wrest the Bayelsan child from the claws of illiteracy when he was governor in 2006, noted that the Education Development Trust would drastically change the story of Bayelsa.
Speaking, Governor Seriake Dickson said his administration viewed investment in the education sector not as a burden but as a responsibility because of its far-reaching impact on society. While recounting some of his achievements in the sector, he called on the private sector to support the trust fund, stressing that education must be seen as a collective responsibility of all. Dickson, who stressed that lack of education was at the root of instability, militancy and insurgency urged multinational oil companies to emulate the Nigerian Army by adopting secondary schools already built by the state government.
He said that they have committed N80 billion to the development of educational infrastructure aside from salaries, in pursuit of the vision to create access to education in the state.
According to him, the state has 13 functional model secondary schools with about 10, 000 Bayelsans enjoying free education.In his remarks, Chairman of the occasion, John Pepper Clark praised Dickson for charting a new course in the development of human capital in Bayelsa and Ijaw nation as a whole. Benedict Peters, Vice Chairman, Aiteo E&P, said the company is pleased to associate with the Fund’s lofty vision of becoming a world class educational intervention agency driven by stakeholder participation and contribution for sustainable and enhanced standard of education, employing best practice. Represented by Victor Okoronkwo, the company Managing Director, he said they have followed the progress of the Trust Fund from inception. Aired who donated N500 million to the fund, praised the Professor Turner Isoun led board who raised N800million in their first ten months of operation to empower indigent children with access to free and qualitative education. In his welcome address, Chairman of the Fund, Prof. Turner Isoun, assured donors of the judicious use of the funds as the books of the board are open to external auditing.