By CrossRiverWatch Admin
The Government of Cross River State led by Senator Ben Ayade has been granted approval by the Federal Government of Nigeria to build a Canadian International School in Obudu local Government Area of the state.
Chairman, State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Dr. Stephen Odey who disclosed this in a press briefing at the conference hall of the Board along Murtala Mohammed Highway, Calabar, explained that the citing of the Canadian International School in Obudu takes into cognizance the Obudu Mountain Resort, coupled with the fact that the Institution will attract patronage from across the country and outside Nigeria.
He explained that the school will have all the modern facilities including boarding for both teachers and students, standard recreational facilities, good network of roads, water, electricity, standard conveniences, among others in accordance with international standard and best practices.
“Governor Ayade has charged us to ensure that we implement what is found in our Action Plan, and we have gotten approval to build a Canadian International School in Obudu and it has been by Abuja, and we want to take advantage of the proximity of the Obudu mountain Resort, and based on the fact that it is an International School it will attract patronage from across the country and outside Nigeria. Money for the project is already in our account.
“We are very set to go, set to transform our Basic Education sector. We also want to commence academic activities at the Model School that has been handed over to us at Abi Local Government Area, there is one in Yala, and after here I’m meeting with the commissioner for Education for us to perfect plans on how we are going to run the schools. You know, when you talk of basic education, our mandate end at the JSS level”, the SUBEB Chairman asserted.
The Cross River State SUBEB Chairman who had earlier in the day held a meeting with staff of the Board to brief them on the progress done by the current Board and the activities soon to take place, also disclosed that money for the construction of the International School in Obudu has already been approved and captured in the Action Plan of the Board which has equally been approved by the Universal Basic Education Commission in Abuja.
Odey further informed the newsmen that the governor of cross River, Senator Ben Ayade has given approval for the Board to recruit 1000 teachers to curb the dearth of qualified teachers in the system, explaining that over 520 cases of retirements and deaths have been recorded by the Board, stressing that this prompted the Board to write to the Governor for approval for the recruitment of more teachers which according to him has been graciously approved.
He said that dateline for the submission of applications by applicants ended last Friday and the applicants would be required to go through rigorous aptitude test, oral interview and thorough certificate verification exercise to ensure that only the best and the very best are employed at the end of the day, taking into consideration the strategic position which basic education plans in the development of any nation, explain that it was based on this premise that the Board embarked on staff verification which many ghost workers were uncovered with 252 teachers found to possess fake certificates.
The SUBEB Chairman said that he has warned staff of the Board against collecting any money from any applicant in the name of securing employment for them, stressing that the days of doing that including replacing names of death as well as retired staff without passing through the right channel/ due process were over and that only the best would be employed, adding that the 220 UBEC teachers who were not converted by the previous leadership now have the opportunity to apply and go through the aptitude test, interview and verification/ authentication of certificates as other to secure employment about the 1000 to be employed, as standard would not be compromised.
Dr. Odey who commended the state governor, Senator Ben Ayade for realizing the sum of N3.8 Billion as counterpart funding to the Board to enable it access the UBEC marching funds from 2012-2015 staked away in the Central Bank of Nigeria, and that the Special education Fund which hitherto was not accessed has been accessed by his Board through the support of the Governor, and explained that as a result of the availability of funds, they have commenced procurement process and advertisement for more than 200 jobs and have emphasized due process, prudent, transparency and capability as basis to secure job by any contractor, just as contractors who have records of abandonment of projects need not to apply, while disclosing that a total sum of N7.5Billion is now in the Board account for the said projects.
He said that procurement of some Hilux vehicles, computers, staff training programmes, vehicle for the Board Chairman, among others are part of the projects to be executed, among others and that it is only those projects that are captured in the Action Plan and verified and certified by UBEC that would be carried out and that the funds under the Board will be judiciously appropriated as provided in the Action Plan.
The Cross River SUBEB Chairman equally disclosed that he has written a letter to EFCC, ICPC and the Attorney General of the Federation notifying them of the Board procurement of projects for 2012-2015, as he is aware that some over-zealous contractors would want to write spurious petitions.
“I have written to the security agencies in charge of financial matters, such as the EFCC, the ICPC and the Attorney General of Nigeria, notifying them of our procurement of projects for 2012-2015 grant inviting them to send their officials if need be to come and audit the procurement process because we are aware that some over-zealous contractors may write spurious petitions”.
Odey thanked the staff for keying into the Board agenda of new SUBEB and for the support given to his administration so far while assuring them that each staff would be given opportunity to go out for monitoring exercises.
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