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Abia makes great strides in education, approves Frank Onyeka’s football academy 

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As part of efforts to implement the provision of the 20 percent budgetary allocation in its 2024 annual budget, geared towards improving education, Abia state government has started addressing critical areas in the education sector.

Recently, the Abia state government secured an additional 19 Academic programmes for th state university at Uturu. The government also approved payments of school fees for all the Abia state students studying in an Indian University, SRI SAI, who were abandoned by the outgone administration.

Not only that, the government has also approved the payment of bursaries to Abia students in various Law schools in the country, in fulfillment of Governor Alex Otti’s earlier promises to them.

The state commissioner for Information and Culture, Prince Okey Kanu, who announced these while briefing journalists at the Government House, Umuahia on Wednesday, said the measures were in keeping with Governor Otti’s zeal to ensure that the educational sector turns out to be one of the best in the country.

It would be recalled that following the allocation of 20 percent of its 2024 annual estimate to the education sector, cursory survey reveal that a lot is happening in the entire educational system in the state, including renovation of dilapidated school buildings, hiring qualified teachers, putting up equipments and improved teaching and learning environments in schools and other public institutions.

According Kanu, “as a result of the high premium Dr. Otti places on education, he was greatly worried by the plight of the abandoned students in the Indian University by the previous administration. He, therefore, graciously directed that their fees be paid immediately so that they can continue their studies in that University.”

The commissioner further announced that the state governor has equally approved the appointment of Mr. Ukoha Njoku Ukoha as his new Chief Press secretary.

Ukoha, known for his advocacy and media management, replaces Kazie Ukoh.

Prince Kanu explained that the replacement of Uko was part of Governor Otti’s plan to rejig the media team of his administration.

As at time of doing this report, no reason other was given for the replacement of Uko, no even any hint as to the new place of deployment.

However, Prince Kanu also hinted that the state government has approved the establishment of a Football Academy in the state by an Abia-born, UK-based footballer, Mr. Frank Onyeka.

Mr. Onyeka plays for Brentfort Football Club in the English Premiership as well as for the Super Eagles of Nigeria.

”Governor Otti has directed the Ministry of Works and Housing to process the Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) for the project within 48 hours. The project should be cited between Umuahia and Aba,” he said.

“Onyeka visited His Excellency with his wife and the Vice Presidential candidate of the Labour Party in the 2023 general elections, Dr. Datti Baba-Ahmed, who was on hand to support Onyeka on the proposed project.

Dr. Datti promised to lend every support to Mr. Onyeka to ensure that the project succeeds.

“This is a way to encourage Onyeka, who is a proud son of Abia state and to let others know that if hey have such viable projects that the state government will always be willing and ready to support them,” he said.

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Meanwhile, a proposed South East University is to take off at the premises of the Abia State College of Education Technical, Arochukwu. The university will offer professional courses, such as Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy and Mechanical Engineering while Agricultural students will be placed on scholarship.

This project is championed by governors in the South East zone of Nigeria. A delegation on the proposed university is mandated to meet with the Abia state Commissioner for education and other stakeholders to work out details of the project for possible take off.

Speaking when the delegation visited him at government house, Dr. Otti said that South East Governors are working hand-in-gloves to make the region an ideal destination for education and investments.

The Governor who used the forum to inform the delegation of his great plans to upgrade the Abia State College of Education Technical, Arochukwu, promised that his administration will prevail on his brother governors to support the noble initiative.

“We have great plans for the college of education. You know before now, the college of education was not well managed. It was virtually abandoned, salaries not paid. But we have set up a board now and we are trying to fix the place. We believe strongly that we do not have a functional higher education for training teachers and will not be able to solve the problem of quality of education,” Otti said.

“For our government that has devoted 20% of it’s 2024 budget to education, you’ll agree that we must make the system work and we are taking it one step at a time” .

Earlier, the majority leader of the Abia state House of Assembly and member representing Arochukwu state constituency Hon. Uchenna Okoro said that the remarkable infrastructural turn around being witnessed under the present administration accounts for why the delegation has chosen the state for the project, saying that it as a welcome development.

In his presentation, the team leader, Dr Venatius Ogueze said that they are impressed with the achievements of Governor Alex Otti in office.

He explained that the idea behind the South East University is to have a university of the South East region, as can be seen in other regions of the country.

Other vital reasons considered for citing the proposed South-East University in Abia are the prevailing security, purposeful, progressive and selfless leadership style of the Governor Alex Otti Administration.

BusinessHallmark understands that if the South-East University is established, it would be a unifying factor between the border communities of Abia, Akwa-Ibom and Cross River states.

It will also bring developments, investments as well as curb the incessant border clashes/skemishes amongst them. It will also spur the National Boundary commission NBC, to do the needful, in terms of boundary adjustments and the need for border communities to live in peace.

 

 

 

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