Gov. Seyi Makinde of Oyo State says his administration will remain focused on educational development, notwithstanding the growing developmental concerns in other sectors.
This is contained in a statement issued by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Taiwo Adisa, on Friday.
Adisa quoted Makinde as making the remark at a dinner in honour of the Executive Secretary of the Tertiary Education Fund (TETFund), Prof. Suleiman Bogoro, on Thursday at the Government House, Agodi, Ibadan.
The governor said that his focus on free and qualitative education would remain unchanged, reiterating his commitment to moving Oyo State from poverty to prosperity.
According to him, the development of a well-thought-out roadmap for the accelerated development of Oyo State, long before he was elected, has paid off, especially because of his fidelity to the propositions in the document.
He said that the government had identified areas where interventions could aid the development of the state, adding that he found relationship with TETFund strategic to the state’s agenda on quality education system.
The governor commended the TETFund executive secretary for making impact, by delivering on the mandate of the Trust Fund, without bias for political party affiliation or ethnicity.
Makinde said that leaders must learn to keep things simple and act in the interest of the nation.
He said: “Our roadmap was well-developed before electioneering and it identified those areas where we think intervention will accelerate development for us, and education is one of them.
“We looked at the 20 per cent recommended budgetary allocation by UNESCO and we looked at our annual budget, for a sustainable project in education.
“We knew there were things we would be able to achieve for our tertiary institutions, if interventions from TETFund and other critical organisations were in place.
“Knowing that there is a lot of discretionary approach to the utilisation of their funds, I thought if there is anyone in this whole country that I need to develop a good relationship with, it would be the executive secretary of TETFund.
“When we met during the electioneering period, Prof. Bogoro explained to me that TETFund is apolitical and this night is a demonstration of what we spoke about at that particular time.
“One thing I have learnt from the professor is to make an impact. As leaders, we just have to keep it very simple.”
He thanked Bogoro for his leadership at TETFund, for being apolitical and for looking at his duty as an assignment for the entire country, irrespective of ethnic background and political leaning.
“This is the kind of leadership we deserve in this country, and that is what can take this country out of the woods,” the governor said.
Responding, Bogoro said that Makinde had raised the bar in terms of increasing funding for education.
He commended the governor’s priority attention to the development of the education sector.
The TETFund boss said he was delighted at the honour done to him.
“Having listened to eight tertiary institutions being supported by TETFund in Oyo State, I’m not disappointed because the Trust Fund has been getting the best value for its money,” Bogoro said.
He promised that the Trust Fund would continue to support institutions in the state.
According to him, such efforts will show the confidence the agency has in the governor’s efforts, to enable him to consolidate on what he has started.
Edited By: Folorunso Poroye/Oluwole Sogunle