…Pledges commitment to qualitative education***
The Oyo State Executive Council, on Tuesday, approved the sum of N750, 000 for the purchase of 60 bicycles for the pilot phase of its ‘Bike –Sharing Scheme’, within the state secretariat.
The Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Mr Seun Ashamu, who disclosed this while briefing newsmen on the outcome of the weekly State Executive Council meeting, said the scheme would be piloted, in collaboration with ‘Our Bike Nigeria’, an indigenous company.
“The company will be providing us with 60 bicycles for the pilot, which will last for a period of three months initially. With this, there will be bicycles available for use by members of the public and staff of the state.” he stated.
The commissioner added: “We have members of the public that come into the secretariat at the moment, and they walk around. We also have members of the public, who for one reason or the other, will have to drive for a short journey within the secretariat.
“So, the bicycles will promote a number of things, ease of mobility within the secretariat, and healthy living.
“It is a bike-sharing scheme, what that means is that you can actually enter into the secretariat, through any of the main entrances, pick up a bicycle and ride it to wherever it is that you are going,” he said.
He added: “The bicycles will also be made available to the ministries, departments and agencies so that members of staff can also use them.
“There are protocols and procedures that will guide the use of bicycles. It is a bike-sharing scheme that has been in Europe and North America, long before we brought it to Africa, and the company we partner with is already operating in about 16 locations in Nigeria.
“We will ensure that all health and safety measures are put in place to ensure that we don’t accelerate or contribute to the spread of coronavirus.”
Also, the Commissioner for Education, Mr Olasunkanmi Olaleye, told newsmen that the Council had also approved the payment of N8billion to the Osun state government, as part of the agreement reached for the sole ownership of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomosho.
Olaleye, who disclosed that the money would be paid in four instalments, over a period of three years, explained that the amount represented the outcome of asset sharing, between the two states, agreed to resolve the ownership crisis in favour of Oyo state.
According to the commissioner, the breakdown of the payment showed that N1billion would be paid in January 2021, and a similar tranche to be paid in December 2021, while N3billion would be expected to be paid in 2022, and the balance of N3billion in 2023.
In another development, Gov. Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, says his administration remains committed to digitalising the educational system, with a view to bringing about qualitative education and enhancing teaching and learning in the state.
Makinde said this while receiving a delegation of the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) in his office at the State Secretariat, Ibadan on Tuesday.
The delegation was led by the Country Director of KOICA, Mr Woochan Chang.
The governor said that the state government was ready to partner with KOICA on quality education service delivery in the state.
The KOICA delegation was in Ibadan to inspect ongoing construction works on a Smart (Model) School Project being constructed by UBEC in Sogunro village, along Moniya-Oyo road in Akinyele Local Government Area.
Makinde informed the delegation that his government budgeted 21 to 22 per cent for education in the 2021 budget as part of his administration’s determination to improve the standard of education in the state.
He said: “I personally take special interest in the smart school project. I went to the project site and we will ensure that the quality meets international standards.
“I am glad that you are looking at interventions in ICT because e-governance is something we have also been looking at.
“With the pandemic, the challenges for us to take knowledge to our students became really compounded. So, what we have done in Oyo state, even at this secretariat, is to move toward e-governance.
“We have laid fiber-optic cables all around. We have bought computers and we are in the process of ensuring that our processes are moved toward e-governance where we are not going to be carrying files all over the place.
“We are doing the same thing at the primary and secondary school levels.’’
The governor said that the state government was preparing people for e-governance.
According to him, the importance of moving everybody, both the students and teachers to have appreciation of ICT became really hectic.
“You have our commitment as we have the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) and Chairman of SUBEB to take you to our ICT centre here.
“Before we came in, it was just a dream in the pipeline but we are now executing,” he said.
The governor said that the on-going construction work on the Smart (Model) School project in Ibadan would be ready for commissioning in the next eight to 10 weeks.
“This is me having the responsibility to ensure that our programmes for the improvement of education in the state are executed,” he said.
The governor noted that his administration would like to collaborate with KOICA in the area of vocational and technical education in the state.
He said: “Quite frankly, we will love to have intervention programmes in our vocational and technical education as well, because we have a lot of our graduates either riding Okada (motorcycles) or roaming the streets.
“Yes, they get a formal education but there is still a gap in terms of responsibility and how they can easily just roll into the economy and make their contributions.
“I know that South Korea has been at the forefront of technology. So, soft areas such as vocational and technical will be good curriculum for us.
“These are areas that if we have partners willing and able to support us, we will demonstrate the seriousness that is required.”