By Abdulrofiu Agboola, Osogbo
President Muhammadu Buhari has reiterated his commitment to revamping the education sector and make it a pride of Nigeria.
According to the President, providing affordable and functional basic education for the citizens of the country is a cardinal agenda of his administration.
The President Buhari stated this on Thursday at the commissioning of a modern Osogbo Government High School, Osogbo, during his Presidential Visit to Osun state.
President Buhari lauded Governor Rauf Aregbesola for his commitment to providing standard education, saying that the Governor’s innovative ideas and programmes on education were worthy of emulation.
He maintained that Aregbesola achievement in education sector was an indication that the All Progressives Congress (APC) prioritise education and striving to make it affordable to Nigerians.
The Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces noted that the APC led governments at all levels usually give priority to education, just as he stated that “efforts are in place to make Osun achieve its desired growth”.
President Buhari described the newly commissioned high school as an “educational monument” and a legacy project.”
He said: “What we are witnessing here is a display of patriotism to the party’s manifesto by the governor. There should be a substantial commitment of energy and dedication to education by government at all levels.”
President Buhari stated that his administration was resolute at bringing back the lost glory of education, disclosing that 10 percent of the 2016 budget was voted for education as commitment to revitalising the sector.
The president appealed to Nigerians to be steadfast and continue to persevere with the current economic challenges, saying that he was aware of their yearning.
He said: “Change is never achieved by bed of roses but through patience and perseverance. We are dedicated to restore integrity into the country, improve the condition of people and make the country a prosperous one.”
Aregbesola, while delivering his speech titled, ‘For a bright today and a glorious future’, said President Buhari has not disappointed Nigerians with his performance.
Aregbesola who commended Buhari for his transparent leadership said: “He has not disappointed us. He has faced his task with courage and doggedness. No doubt, he is facing some challenges part of which is the fall in revenue that has put about 28 states under severe financial crisis.
“He continues with a rare sense of doggedness and faith in God as he faces the turbulent situations. We are satisfied with the way he manages the affairs of the state (country) and leads us. The challenges we are facing are as a result of the previous party’s (Peoples Democratic Party, PDP) rape of our resources.”
Maintaining that the president was accountable, Aregbesola said: “When we were coming, the president asked me how we got the resources to do all these. I looked at him carefully and replied ‘God and you’.”
Aregbesola, who disclosed that the construction of the Osogbo Government High School gulped N1.35bn, said the elementary schools being built across the also have standard facilities.
The Governor stated that schools have classrooms, offices, laboratories, toilets, library, bookshop, sick bay and multi-purpose hall which can accommodate 1000 students for examinations.
He said: “It is part of our party manifesto to provide basic education and you can see that in the way All Progressive Congress governs states, we pay so much attention and commitment to education.
“When we came in as government in 2010, we first held an education submit headed by Prof. Wole Soyinka. Now, we have built 14 elementary schools, 15 middle schools and 11 high schools.
Minister of Communications, Mr Shittu Adebayo, commended the state of education infrastructural development in Osun State.
He noted that such standard infrastructure existed in few place around the world.
Adebayo said: “I must commend the infrastructure I met here. I don’t this exist in many places of the world that I have visited. I am proud that someone is replicating the legacies of Obafemi Awolowo, especially his legacies of quality education.
“There is no child that will come here and won’t feel very much at home. I recommend this for other governors to emulate.”
A former governor of the state, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola, said the president’s visit would serve as a challenge to the state government to intensify efforts in improving education level.
Describing the visit and reception of the president as overwhelming, Oyinlola said: “The implication of this visit is that it is an assessment on the state of education and it is a charge to do more.”
He, however, urged users of the infrastructure on adequate maintenance.
Oyinlola added: “This edifice is not for today alone. It will also serve future purposes. We must improve on our maintenance culture. As legislatures, we will monitor and ensure discipline in the maintenance of public infrastructures.
“I will implore that special funds should be set aside for the maintenance of public infrastructures.”
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