By Stephen Adeleye
Kogi State Government on Tuesday appealed to communities in the state to protect public institutions by taking ownership of the facilities and ensure adequate security.
The State’s Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Hon. Wemi Jones, FCIB, made the appeal at the palace of Onu Ochaja, HRH Chief Yahaya Ibrahim, during an inspection tour to the newly upgraded College of Agriculture, Ochaja, Dekina LGA of Kogi State.
The commissioner noted that His Excellency, Governor Yahaya Bello, had given approval for the School of Agriculture, Ochaja, to be upgraded from a Certificate awarding institution to a Diploma awarding institution.
Jones noted that essence of his visit to the college was for him to see at a closer range all the things needed to be put in place for commencement of academic activities.
He assured that academic activities would safely commence at the institution before the end of March 2021, using borrowed two secondary schools’ facilities in the community.
”We intend to work with the deadline given by His Excellency for academic activities to commence at the school, after we have appointed the principal officers of the institution,” he said.
The Commissioner noted that the school being an agricultural based institution would create employments, entrepreneural skills, and take a lot of youths away from the streets and reduce the rate of criminality in the community.
Jones appealed to the monarch and the people of the community to give maximum support to the government by protecting the facilities from ruins.
He further urged the community to ensure adequate maintenance and security of the facilities, staff and students, and take ownership of the college.
In his response, the Traditional Ruler, Onu Ochaja, Chief Yahaya Ibrahim, thanked the governor for remembering them in the community in upgrading the college into a Diploma awarding institution.
The royal father also commended the commissioner for visiting the college to see things for himself, and ensuring that academic activities commenced in earnest.
The traditional ruler assured that adequate security would be provided for the staff and students of the college including the facilities.
The monarch stressed that his late father had suffered a lot and made several efforts to ensure that life came back to the institution but all to no avail.
He, therefore, eulogised the governor for considering it fit by given the approval for the upgrade of the college to diploma awarding institution.
The Commissioner was accompanied by his counterparts in the Ministry of Rural Development, Hon. Daniel Ejigbo, an indigene the local government area, who promised that the State Government would give a transformer to the community.
Others in the Commissioner’s team were: the Permanent Secretary, Kogi MOEST, Pastor Emmanuel Idenyi; Director Science and Technology, Mr Dipo Aiyenibe; and Director Tertiary Education, Mrs Taiye Bolu, among others.