Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, on Friday advised students in the State to fully embrace the opportunities being provided by his administration in the education sector and shun all negative values and vices that could hinder them from realising their dreams.
The Governor said his vision remained the building of great future full of opportunities, possibilities and prosperity for the youths through the provision of qualitative education that is consistent with the demands of the 21st century, and as such it was important for students to reciprocate by showing commitment to excellence.
The Governor, who spoke at the foundation laying ceremony of two additional Model Colleges in Yaba and Shomolu, recalled that since his assumption of office on May 29, 2015, conscious efforts have been made through policies and programmes that placed high premium on education as a vehicle for continued and future prosperity of the State.
Governor Ambode, who had earlier on Thursday performed the foundation laying ceremony of the New Model School in Awori College, Ojo, said he remained committed to the reformation and strengthening of public schools in the State with the view to ensure that they are given the best in terms of quality teaching and learning environment.
Speaking at Angus Memorial High School in Shomolu where he was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Tunji Bello, the Governor said the sustained efforts on education was already yielding results as the performance of students in the last West African Examination Council (WAEC) conducted examination was most assuring and an indication that the State was moving in the right direction.
Already, the Governor said contracts have been awarded for the construction of eight new blocks of classrooms as well as the renovation of 174 existing blocks of classrooms and the construction of perimeter fence in various schools to enhance security, while government has also commenced the supply of over 40,000 students’ furnitures on a quarterly basis to clear the identified shortfall of 160,000.
The Governor, who also performed the foundation laying ceremony of New Model School Building at Lagos City College, Sabo, Yaba where he was represented by his Special Adviser on Education, Mr Obafela Bank-Olemoh, said the new edifice being added to secondary schools, apart from aiding teaching and learning, would compare favourably with high school structures in leading countries of the world.
“Apart from the aesthetics value, the new structure is capable of enhancing security of students, staff and schools materials in the face of the recent security breaches in our schools. It would comprise 36 classrooms, library, staff rooms, multipurpose hall, laboratories, Principal/Vice Principal’s offices and modern toilet facilities for both junior and senior schools.”
“Let me assure all parents that we will continue to do our very best to ensure that our schools are safe from intruders. We have put in place measures to secure our pupils, students, teaching and non teaching staff. Our standards are high and we will continue to make them better,” the Governor said.
In her welcome address, Deputy Governor and the State’s Commissioner for Education, Dr. Idiat Oluranti Adebule thanked the Governor for his passion for education, just as she assured that the Ministry would take ownership of the project and use it judiciously.
The Deputy Governor, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mr Adeshina Odeyemi, also said that government would not rest on its oars, but rather redouble efforts to ensure continuous improvement in the sector.
In his remarks, Chairman of Lagos State House of Assembly Committee on Appropriation, Rotimi Olowo commended the Governor over provision of world class infrastructures in public schools, saying that the Governor has now become the reference point of good governance not just in Nigeria, but in Africa.
On their parts, Sole Administrators of Yaba and Bariga Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs), Bayo Adefuye and Sanya Osijo respectively, said it was evident that Governor Ambode has shown relentless determination toward ensuring that qualitative education gets to the grassroots.
“We are indeed grateful that our Governor is living up to expectation by taking education as of utmost importance and we like to urge residents to take good care of this edifice that is being bequeathed to us by government,” Adefuye said.
Also, Lagos State Chairman of National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Comrade Moses Adewale, hailed the Governor over the massive infrastructure development in the State.
Adewale, who spoke on behalf of students in the State, said it was gratifying to note that Lagos under Governor Ambode has been recruiting and paying staff as at when due when other States were retrenching and even unable to pay staff, saying that the development exemplified the Governor’s managerial acumen and commitment to welfare of Lagosians.