The Imo State governor, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, has fulfilled his major campaign promise to the people of Imo State by issuing cheques of 100,000 naira each to undergraduates of Imo State University who are indigenes of the State.
Also in the list of those who were paid include students of Imo State Polytechnic Umuagwo who received the sum of 80,000 naira each and the students of College of Health Science and Technology Amaigbo, who received the sum of 60,000 naira each.
In a speech at the ceremony tagged ‘Investment for the Future’, held at the Heros square, Owerri today the 13th of November 2012, Governor Okorocha said that the day’s event should go down in history as “the greatest moments of his life”.
He said that there is no legacy that is greater than the provision of free education to the people, adding that by such legacy, the children of the poor can acquire formal education to the benefit of themselves and the society.
Speaking further at the occasion, Governor Okorocha said that of all the numerous projects embarked upon by his administration, non to him is as good as the free education given to over 19,000 students of Imo State origin.
He said his administration has been able to achieve the feat through sacrifice and commitment to service, adding that he forfeited 4 billion naira security vote just to ensure that the free education programme succeeded.
He therefore charged the students to not only be of good behaviour, but also to ensure that the ‘candle’ of free education for Imo indigenes which has been kindled at the day’s event is kept burning beyond this generation.
Earlier in a speech, the Imo State Commissioner for Education, Prof (Mrs) Adaobi Obasi said that the revolution going on in the education sector in Imo State include the building of 12 classroom blocks in each of the 305 wards in the State, building of the Young Scientist’s college, the Owerri City school, College of Advanced professional studies (ICAPS), increasing the subvention given to Imo State University from 57 million naira to 152 million naira, release of 450 million naira grant to the Missionary schools to mention just a few.
Also speaking, the Rector of Imo State Polytechnic, Umuagwo, Reverend Fr. Dr. Wence Madu said that access to qualitative education will guarantee safety and security in all aspects of life in the State, adding that Governor Okorocha’s comment about Imo being the richest State in Nigeria can be proved from the perspective that God has endowed the indigenes with an immeasurable wealth of knowledge and talents.
Adding his voice, the Vice-Chancellor of Imo State University, Professor B.E.B Nwoke said that the event of the day represents a golden moment in the history of education in Imo State, Nigeria and Africa. He expressed optimism that the students will work harder bearing in mind that the money used in sponsoring their education came from the tax payers.
The high points of the occasion were the presentation of cheques in payment of gratuities to hundreds of retirees from the State civil service who were being owed by the past administrations in the State and the presentation of 4 buses and a hilux van to the State government by the representative of Diamond Bank P.LC, Mrs Chiaka Ejiogu to support the day’s event.