Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said his administration is focused on developing human capital to drive the government’s robust agriculture-based economy in the aftermath of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The governor assured that he has invested in the Edo State College of Agriculture and Natural Resources to reposition the institution to compete favourably with the best of specialised agricultural training schools in the world.
The governor said the College, with three campuses in Iguoriakhi, Agenebode and Uromi,will groom and harness knowledge and skillset of the state’s teeming youth population for an agriculture-based post COVID-19 economy.
Speaking to members of the committee set up to oversee the smooth take-off of Edo State College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the Government House, in Benin City, Governor Obaseki reassured that the college will admit its first set of students early in 2021.
According to him, “We would move at the speed of light to commence activities in the school. Admission must start first quarter next year and by June the school will start running. We are bringing the private sector to collaborate with us on the College. It’s not a political school. We’re ready to bring professionals on board. It is going to be a professional and technical college to produce people who can produce food for themselves and the market.”
Obaseki who commended the Prof. Balogun Oluwafemi-led committee for a job well done, urged them to ensure the birth of a world-class college that Edo people will be proud of.
“We are sure that when a student goes through this school, they should be able to get a job or become an employer of labour themselves. Things should be done on merit to reposition this country. Do what is right without fear or favour,” he said.
The governor continued: “We will continue to partner with professionals to bring value to Edo and get the best. As long as I am the governor of Edo State, this school will be the best in this part of the world.
“One of the major challenges we face as a country is the inability to feed ourselves despite the vast resources available to us. We have not allowed people who are in the know to lead the way; we politicise everything. Agriculture is a business, not social services.”
Earlier, Prof. Balogun Oluwafemi, noted: “The professionals on board are the best hands sourced from across institutions in the country as they will help get a desired college that will meet 21st-century standards.
“We have 16 new programmes; six will be in Iguoriakhi with four each in Agenebode and Uromi. Lecturers that will be recruited will be eminently qualified to teach in the newly remodeled school.