Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, on Tuesday, said the newly rebuilt Edo State College of Agriculture in Iguoriakhi, Ovia South West Local Government Area of the state, will open for academic activities in September 2023 with about 2, 000 students.
Obaseki said this during an interactive session with the school community and other stakeholders at the school premises in Iguoriakhi.
The governor thanked the host community, especially the youths for ensuring a peaceful and conducive environment for the contractors to do their job without distraction.
Obaseki said, “We have the administrative block, library, about three lecture theaters, one big auditorium with a seating capacity of 1,000 students, and primary healthcare center to attend to the school and community members. We also have hostels but they can’t take all the 2,000 students. The community is encouraged to build houses as students will live off campus.”
He assured that the road leading to the school will be expanded, adding, “We are investing more in facilities, bringing technology here; broadband internet connection, fibres, 24/7 electricity, among others.”
Obaseki further noted, “Electricity is key as we are trying to connect IPP to this place. It’s not cheap but we will look for money to bring light to this area as solar is no longer needed. We would put a police post here in the school if the law permits but if not, we will site it outside the school.”
He added that his administration is putting more emphasis on the quality of governance in the school to enable it to produce quality graduates who will not be a liability but an asset to society.
The governor said, “We are insisting that the faculty must be grade A; first-class faculty to ensure we produce quality graduates. The emphasis is not on certificates, as we have multinational companies partnering with us and will seat on the Council of the institution to ensure that the curriculum is designed to fit the market. This is so that by the time you are leaving the institution, you are ready for work.
“You are trained to either work with large, small estate farms or work for yourself. By September, we should open the school. We are calling on the community to be critical stakeholders in this institution from staffing to enrollment; they should be part of this project.
“The kind of school we have built is the one in which you will get a certificate and also be sure of employment or you become an employer of labour. Students will be sure of entering as well as sure of completing their studies and getting employment.
“This school is built for the students. We want to see a situation where many students will apply as the application will commence in June this year. We will set up offices with the education secretary here in Ovia South West, as well as Benin City to get your forms,” he added.
He assured that a quota will be reserved for members of the host community who are qualified to be employed as academic and non-academic staff of the institution, noting, “If you want the school to be number one, you all must come to work after you have been employed or else, you will be sacked as we will tolerate laziness.
“The contractor has given us the assurance that in the next two months, a lot of infrastructural work will be closing up as it requires finishing touches to the building and landscaping. For us, a school like this is beyond buildings but the quality of learning, quality of the faculty being put in place, and more importantly the quality of governance of the school as more emphasis is on governance than the infrastructure of the school.”
In his response, the Iyase of Udo, HRH Patrick Ekhoeutomwen, expressed appreciation to the governor for his developmental strides in Ovia South West with the rebuilding of the College of Agriculture in Iguoriakhi as it will open doors for economic development and growth in the area.
Speaking on behalf of the market women, the President, Ovia South West Market Women Association, Mrs. Elizabeth Osabuohien thanked the governor for rebuilding the school into a world-class institution, noting that the school has opened business opportunities for market women.
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