Imo state Governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha has called on the federal government to establish more Federal Universities in the state.
Governor Okorocha made this call while receiving the Minister of State for Education, Barr. Nysom Wike who paid him a courtesy call at theGovernment House, Owerri.
According to Governor Okorocha, Imo state has the highest enrolment in JAMB, GCE, NECO and requires more Federal Universities in the state to accommodate the population, stressing that the quota system hindered over 5000 Imo children from getting admission into the universities this year.
He said that Imo state is the first in education in Nigeria, having kept the flag of education flying high and that is the reason his government is spending 14 billion Naira to build 305 model schools that consist 2 floors, 12 classroom block with office facilities in the 305 INEC wards in Imo state.
Governor Okorocha commended the federal government on their effort to lift up education particularly by improving on the budget provision, for the year 2012 stressing that the best inheritance you can give any child is giving him the opportunity to develop his brain.
He advised the federal government to look into the schools buildings constructed by his administration and adopt some for the federal schools as a way of promoting qualities.
Earlier in his address, the Minister of state for education, Barr. Nyeson Wike said that he was in the state to support the state go meet up the target on MDG –Vision 20-20-20. Adding that the federal government is ready to build a special vocational school in Imo state that is aimed at bringing back the boy child back to school. He therefore requested a parcel of land from the government with Certificate of Occupancy for the immediate building of the special school.
He revealed that between 2001 and 2012, the sum of N290 has been released to the state SUBEB for teachers training programme in the state as well as giving various quantum of books to support the state school system.
The Minister further revealed that N2.4 billion belonging to Imo state government is lying in the banks due to inability of the state to pay their counterpart fund for the projects and therefore appealed to Gov. Okorocha to pay up the state counterpart fund for 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 programmes for eligibility to collect the money.
Barr. Wike commended Gov. Okorocha for his commitment to qualitative education, construction of quality school buildings as well as giving free education to Imo children from primary to university levels.
Answering a question from Journalist, as regards to dichotomy created between HND and B.Sc. holders, the Minister said that the federal government is doing something to correct the anomaly, stressing that
students should shun the unnecessary rush for university admission and go to polytechnics for acquisition of high skilled education that guarantees students access to gainful employment.
The minister was accompanied on the visit by the UBEB Executive Secretary, Mr. Charles Onoja, Dr. Uche Ejiogu State UBEB chairman and state secretary, Okey Anyanwu and state commissioner for Education,
Prof. Mrs. Adaobi Obasi.