Senator Ibikunle Amosun
Senator Ibikunle Amosun
The governor of Ogun State - Senator Ibikunle Amosun, has restated the commitment of his administration to provide free and qualitative education to children of public primary and secondary schools in the state.
The governor disclosed this in the state capital – Abeokuta, while receiving a delegation of the Methodist Church of Nigeria, led by its Prelate - His Eminence, Dr Sunday Ola Makinde, in his office.
Amosun said the free education policy of his government was on course as pupils of public primary and post-primary schools have received free textbooks and instructional materials such as exercise books, pencils, biros, file jackets and mathematical sets.
While recalling that the last time pupils in Ogun received such enormous assistance from the government was 30 years ago, he promised to ensure that every child in Ogun had the opportunity to get the best of education and compete with their friends in top private schools.
He informed the delegation that procurement of free school bags for school children had reached an advanced stage and noted that government would spend additional N600 million in the new term as a result of increase in enrolment figures, occasioned by the free education policy of his administration.
Senator Amosun lamented the derelict state of infrastructure, especially the school buildings, inherited by his administration, noting that his government had renovated blocks of classrooms in 100 schools in the first phase and targeted 200 more in the second phase.
In response to the request of Dr Makinde, for the return of mission schools to their original owners, Amosun reiterated that his administration had no intention to take over the schools. “Virtually all the schools in Ogun are owned by missionaries. My life was also moulded by the mission school, African Church Grammar School. We have only requested to be given time to sort out ourselves so that over 20,000 children will not roam the streets as a result of the return. In fact, our plan is to give the private schools a run for their money by the kind of schools we are building now,” he said.
Speaking earlier, the Prelate urged the governor to make performance his watchword: “Today, we all remember Awolowo because of performance. Once you meet the needs of the grassroots through provision of social amenities, you will not even need to do much to get a second term because your work will speak for you.”
While noting that Methodist was the first church to be established in Nigeria in 1842, he said the Church had chosen Ogun State as the venue for the celebration of its 50-year autonomy from the British Methodist Church and 170-year anniversary in Nigeria.
He requested the participation of the state government in the anniversary celebration.