Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, on Friday ordered the settlement of all salary arrears of lecturers and staff, as well as outstanding gratuity and pension of former workers of the College of Education, now upgraded and renamed Tayo Akpata University of Education, Ekiadolor, Edo State.
The governor, who spoke when he visited the university, according to a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, John Mayaki, also approved pending promotions of the workers, promising to make the university a model and world class institution, when completed, for the training of teachers across the West African sub-region.
The college, upgraded to a university last April, following approval by the National Universities Commission (NUC), is billed to commence operations with a minimum of three faculties next year.
Addressing the elated management, staff, students and other members of the campus community, Governor Obaseki directed the school to place emphasis “on the faculty of industrial and agricultural technology, because that is one area we want to begin to train a lot of teachers to make an impact in our goal of creating 200,000 jobs for our young people.”
He however acknowledged that there are liabilities such as pension, gratuities and promotions, salaries, being owed by government, assured that all “will be taken care of.
“As I go back now, I will instruct that all outstanding salaries for this school be paid,” he added, thereby laying to rest the protracted industrial dispute between management and staff of the school.
The focus of the institution is very clear, he continued, warning that his administration “will not accept anything that does not meet our standard” from the institution.
The visit, Obaseki added, is to get first hand assessment of the situation in the college and begin the process of getting certification, besides understanding its peculiar problems and agree on how best to resolve them.
This will ensure, he added, that the government does not “just hurriedly put the school in place, but to put a sound institution that we all will be proud of and will be an enduring legacy for all of us.”
During the visit also, Hon Thomas Okosun, Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the university’s council, presented the master plan to Governor Obaseki.
Members of the university community greeted the governor with placards expressing hope that the visit will bring succor and “wipe away our many years of tears and sorrow.”
Obaseki was accompanied by his deputy, Phillip Shaibu, the Secretary to the State Governor, Barrister Osarodion Ogie; and the head of Service, Mrs. Gladys Idahor, among others.
The institution was established in 1979 as an Advanced Teachers Training College (ATTC) for NCE teachers in Iyaro, Benin City and renamed a College of Education on May 15, 1980. It was moved to its permanent site in Ekiadolor in April 1986.
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Buhari, AfDB Boss, UN Chiefs For Abuja Economic Confab
President Muhammadu Buhari and Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) are among dignitaries expected at the 11th African Economic Conference 2016, which opens in Abuja on Monday.
Also expected at the confab which has as theme “Feed Africa: Towards Agro-Allied Industrialisation for Inclusive Growth,” are: Abdalla Hamdok, Acting Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA); Abdoulaye Mar Dieye, UN Assistant Secretary-General and Director of the Regional Bureau for Africa, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), as well as Prof Eric Maskin (Harvard University) and 2007 Nobel Laureate in Economics.
The three-day event, jointly organized by the AfDB, the ECA and the UNDP, will “provide an opportunity for participants to discuss Africa’s agricultural transformation by presenting the latest empirical evidence on how to leverage agro-industrialization for feeding Africa and promoting inclusive growth.”
According a statement by the organisers on Friday, “it will also provide critical thinking on how policy-makers, development partners, the private sector, civil society organizations and the academia should support the planning and implementation of these industrialization strategies.
A high point of the conference will be the launch of UNDP’s Africa Human Development Report 2016 (“Accelerating Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in Africa”) on Monday 5 December, by Nigeria’s Ministers of Budget and Planning, and Women Affairs together with UNDP’s Regional Director for Africa.
Two other special events: Launch of Economic Report on Africa 2016 and a discussion on Youth Agri-preneurship’s Aspirations and Challenges will be launched on Tuesday.