The Ijaw Diaspora Council (IDC) said it was ready to collaborate with the Bayelsa State Education Development Trust Fund (BEDTF) to uplift the standard of educational in public schools and ensure infrastructure development.
Gold said the council was pleased to work with the state education trust fund to actualise its lofty goals, saying government bureaucratic bottlenecks often hindered the process of attracting Diaspora projects back home.
He said members of IDC, which comprised Ijaw professionals, cutting across several countries of the world, were eager to contribute their quota to the development of Ijaw land.
He pleged IDC’s commitment, using its wide network to attract more development partners to the state.
Also, the Vice President of IDC, Mrs Antonia Garner, said the group had the capacity to attract more philanthropic organisations to Bayelsa, saying it was the nexus for those living in the United States of America, Europe and other Continents of the world.
She lauded the BEDTF for articulating projects that would positively impact the lives of the young people in Bayelsa.
The chairman of IDC, Gesiere Brisibe-Dorgu, said with the right synergy, the planned projects would be feasible, adding that the successful execution of targeted projects would bring fulfillment to the IDC, the state and Ijaws at large.
On water and sanitation issues, she urged the Bayelsa House of Assembly to legislate laws that would prohibit open defecation and waste disposal in the rivers, used as major source of potable water.
Brisibe-Dorgu, who expressed concern that Ijaws were lagging behind in the comity of tribes in the Nigerian nation, noted that any effort geared towards tackling the problem should be given the needed attention.
The Chairman of the BEDTF, Prof. Turner Isoun, applauded the IDC for embarking on the numerous projects in several communities of the Ijaw nation.
Isoun, who was represented by Prof. Francis Sikoki, said the quest for partnership with development partners, groups and philanthropic organisations was in line with the law establishing the EDTF.
He said the challenges confronting the state education sector were enormous for any government to shoulder alone, saying it required collaboration from well-meaning bodies and organisations.
He explained that the vocational trainings being proposed were fashioned according to the required skill sets for companies, industries and the labour market place.
According to him, some of identified skills needed to make youths meaningfully engaged to check social vices and unemployment, include building, plumbing, carpentry, welding and fabrication for the oil and gas industry, tourism and hospitality.
In her presentation, BEDTF’s Executive Secretary, Alice Atuwo, listed the planned projects for execution to include the construction of science and technology laboratories, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programmes, sick bays and capacity building for Technical, Vocational and Education Training (TVET) programmes.
Atuwo, who lauded the IDC for demonstrating genuine commitment in its support of the BEDTF’s efforts at improving the standard of public schools in the state, stated that the agency was committed to providing counterpart funding for projects to be sited in the schools.
She said that the COVID-19 pandemic had further exposed the need for e-learning and the establishment of e-libraries for schools in remote communities in the State.