…as Borno state creates state varsity
Chris Steven, Abuja
Borno state Governor, Kashim Shettima has lamented that the activities of Boko Haram insurgency group which he said his administration inherited in 2011 have taken the state 50 years backward.
Governor Shettima who stated this in Abuja on Monday while receiving the letter of recognition for the proposed Borno State University at the National Universities Commission (NUC) also said that the objective of the terrorists group was to bring education down completely in the state.
“At the risk of sounding repetitive, Borno State has been taken 50 years backward, no thanks to the vicious Boko Haram we inherited in 2011. As we all know, hate for education is the fundamental principle of the Boko Haram.
This explains why they focused so much attacks on educational institutions… in the educational sector alone, a total of 5, 335 classrooms and other academic buildings were destroyed by insurgents across 512 primary schools, 38 secondary schools and two tertiary institutions in Borno State.
The objective was clearly to bring down education in a State that has a long history of learning. As far back as 625 years ago, Sultan Uthman Bin Idris of Borno in his communication with Sultan Barquq of Egypt in 1391, portrayed Borno empire as one that takes pride in writing and learning. Today, Boko Haram wants to reverse that noble pride but we will not let them do it, insha Allah. ” He said
He however said his administration remained undaunted in its desire to invest on education in the state stressing that a contract worth N3.4billion has already been awarded for the construction of five faculties of the University which is expected to commence academic activities January 2017.
His words: We shall continue to invest heavily on education. Borno State has seven tertiary institutions and despite the Boko Haram insurgency and its huge financial impacts, we are in the category of States that pay the best salaries to tertiary workers and most importantly, we do not owe salaries.
I know it will be a major responsibility to add a University to our too many expenditures that include ongoing reconstruction of destroyed communities, but then, if we are serious about ending Boko Haram, if we are serious about rebuilding Borno and repositioning it for the future, there is nothing like providing quality and affordable education to our teeming population of uneducated youths. Education is the greatest leveler, it is the key to solving variety of social problems.
In our first phase of physical development, we awarded contracts of N3.4 billion for construction 5 faculties of Science, Social Science, Management Science, Arts and Education while we are putting in students hostels and other facilities. At full maturity, the University is expected to have 12 faculties, 77 Departments, 281 undergraduates and school of post graduate studies as well as basic and Remedial studies.”
Governor Shettima who also disclosed plans by his administration to establish two additional Universities said the coming of the Borno State University would help to tell the world that the State has come back on its feet from the firm grip of Boko Haram.
Speaking while handing over the letter of recognition to the Governor, Executive Secretary of NUC, Professor Abedulrasheed Abubakar said the Commission would do everything possible to ease the take off of the University.
This was as he disclosed that NUC would write letters to the managements of Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) , National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) about the new university.