|Hon. Henry Dickson|
Governor of Bayelsa State
Special Adviser to the Governor of Bayelsa State,
Speaking to the Golden Pen Newspaper in his office, Yesterday, the Special Adviser said the nation's steady educational development has been seriously affected by the strike he described as avoidable.
He therefore called on the federal authorities and the Academic Staff union body, to for the interest of the country and the future of our children come to compromise and call off the strike without further delay.
He explained that the strike had adversely affected Bayelsa, because of what the Governor of the state, Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson had put into the development of the sector from the inception of the administration. He spoke that the governor had begun with:-
"A very ambitious scholarship programme, that has been exceptional and indeed unprecedented. I keep on using that word, unprecedented, because indeed there was none like it until he came onboard and declared emergency in the full spectrum of the educational sub system..."
According to him, the Dickson administration took a look at the primary sector, the secondary sub-sector, and the tertiary, and spoke as follows:-
"With specific programme for training and 're-training of our teachers, today, I can tell you by our last WAEC performance, the WAEC body adjudged Bayelsa as one of the states with best result in Nigeria... as reported in some of the media, that Abia, Rivers, Edo, Imo and Bayelsa emerged the best performing states in 2016 West African Senior Secondary School Certificate Examinations. These are the results, the bench mark, with which you measure the performance of the government."
On the issue of relocation of the College Of Education (COE) from Okpoama in Brass Local Government to Sagbama in Sagbama Local Government Area, Mr. Adigio Austin said:-
"The College of Education in all it's stay in Brass Local Government Area had a population less than hundred students with teaching and non-teaching staff. We, in approaching education look at it as a business. Education is also a chain of production where outputs must equate inputs. There, salaries, overheads.... was not commensurate with the output of the students, and so the decision was reached and the school was moved to Sagbama. As I speak to you today, that school has over 2000 students.. with opportunities of even expanding; so you can now see the value for government investment in that school."
He further explained that people are interested in the school because of it's location. Sagbama is equidistant from Port Harcourt, Warri, Ugheli, and therefore has larger catchment that come from neighboring states to register and that brings more internally generated revenue for the institution, he emphasized.
On the Maritime Academy for which the state government concluded plans to build at Okpoama in agreement with Poland, as a replacement of the C.O.E., Mr. Adigio Austin expressed the hope that despite financial challenges facing the nation and by extension the state government, he had no doubt that the State government will not fail on that project. Hear this:-
"His Excellency, the Governor, Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson knows the potentiality of a Maritime Academy in developing our maritime resources, hence he will not and will never abandone the project he had brought to limelight or play politics with it. When that project is established and we understand our maritime domain and the economy, I mean having a Maritime institution will not only build our human capital , but is going to be a big logistics base...and that is a big money spinner for the state...he concluded.