By Tayo Joseph Lagos, Nigeria
Oyo State Governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, has inaugurated the state’s Education Trust Fund, which is saddled with the responsibility of mobilizing resources to complement government efforts in its drive to address the decadence in the sector.
The board of the ETF is headed by a former Minister of Industry and current President, Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Chief Onikepo Akande, who will function as chairperson.
In an address at the occasion, the governor said that the board was put in place to pool funds from stakeholders with a view to assisting the government to complete its intervention projects aimed at restoring the fading education glory of the state.
Ajimobi said that a bill for the establishment of the ETF was passed into law in June 2016 by the State House of Assembly, as part efforts to ensure that the transformation agenda of his administration was manifest in every sector.
The governor said that the objective behind the ETF was to put in place a conducive learning environment, improved and adequate physical facilities, as well as quality and well motivated teachers.
The governor who described the chairperson of the ETF as a woman of many parts, expressed optimism that Akande and other members of the board of trustees will bring their wealth of experiences to bear in the task before them.
Ajimobi said, “I am convinced that by the time the board swings into full action, all our yearnings and aspirations towards the transformation of education in the state would be achieved to an appreciable level.
“In nominating you, it is my belief that your organizations have found you worthy to contribute your quota to the development of education in Oyo State and I believe that you will justify the trust reposed in you.
“By the time resources are pooled, we can then confidently be talking , improved and adequate physical facilities as well as quality teachers.
“May I therefore charge members of the board of trustees to be dedicated and committed to the realization of the objectives behind the setting up of the fund. It is also my belief that stakeholders will support and cooperate with them in the discharge of their responsibilities.”
The governor used the occasion to appeal to the workforce at the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso ((LAUTECH), to show more understanding about the need for a forensic audit of the university as part of efforts to find a lasting solution to the crisis.
He called on the striking workers to give peace a chance and cooperate with the auditors in the interest of peace and to quicken the process of returning normalcy to the college.
On behalf of his Osun State counterpart, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, Ajimobi expressed appreciation to the outgoing members of the university’s Governing Council of the institution for what he called their selfless contribution towards its development.
Ajimobi said, “While the two owner states of Oyo and Osun are doing everything within their powe doing everything within their powers to quickly resolve the challenges associated with the institution, it is my hope that the striking teaching and non-teaching staff will give peace a chance and cooperate with us.
“They need to end the strike and get our students back into the classrooms at the earliest date. In the meantime, let me on behalf of my brother, Governor Rauf Aregbesola, thank the outgoing members of the university’s governing council for their selfless contribution and services to LAUTECH.”
In her remark, the chairperson of the ETF board of trustees appreciated the governor for finding her and other members worthy of the appointment, which she said was a call to serve the state at a high level.
She said the quality of human capital in any country was dependent largely on investment on education, noting that funding of the sector had remained a major issue over the years.
Akande said, “On behalf of the board of trustees of Oyo State Education Trust Fund, I will like to assure you of our total commitment to the realization of the objectives and vision of this great initiative.
“Clearly, funding has become a major issue for our educational sector at both the national and state levels. It has, therefore, become imperative to engage both private organizations and individuals in corporate social responsibilities (CSR) to play a role.”