The Edo state government on Tuesday said its focus was to massively invest in the education sector aimed at improving the quality of human resources to drive the process of industrialization and agriculture.
Besides, government said it would extend its direct grants Scheme to more tertiary institutions as parts of its effort to increase the quality of education in the state.
Governor Godwin Obaseki dropped this hint when a coalition of student unions and youth groups from the state paid a courtesy visit to the Government House in Benin on Tuesday.
Represented by Mr. Taiwo Akerele, the governor said the state had so far donated almost $300,000 to six tertiary institutions in the state for capacity building and man power development.
The Governor noted that one of the major focus of this government was to increase the quality of education through knowledge and skills acquisition.
“We have so many unemployed youths across Nigeria, not because they are not educated but because of that gap between acquiring knowledge and acquiring skills.’’
Governor Obaseki also assured the people of the state’s readiness to invest in human capital development for effective quality human resources that would guarantee speedy development of the society.
He therefore said that “the Edo Government is willing to bridge this gap and increase the quality of Education in the state.
“We are investing in the Tayo University of Education to make it a reference point for teacher training in the country.
“We will also be investing in technical education, the Benin Technical College will serve as a platform to bridge the gap between manpower and industrialization”, he said.
The governor said government would continue to encourage the youths to take advantage of the opportunity being provided by the present administration to empower them, assuring them that his electioneering promises of creating 200,000 jobs for the youths of the state was realizable.
He therefore called on youths to acquire knowledge and build positive network so that they could contribute to national development.
He also assured that his administration would look into the issue of bursary and scholarship for students in the state.
Akerele added that those who had been disengaged from collecting taxes or revenue would be considered as government was already working alternative means to engage them meaningfully.
Meanwhile, Dr Kennedy Madugu, lecturer in the Department of Accounting and Accountancy, University of Benin who spoke as the mouthpiece of the youth delegation said the essence of the visit was to congratulate the Governor on his victory at the polls.
He said that they were also to remind the governor of the electoral promises he made to the youth.
According to him, the governor has begun work; we want to see tangible efforts being made and we are seeing that.
“We are happy that the era where thugs are used to function as youths in the government is over and we want this government to carry Edo youths along in this administration.
He added that the youths of the state were willing to collaborate with government if they were given the opportunity to do so.
Members of the youth delegation included Presidents and representatives of Student Union Governments of UNIBEN, Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Federal Polytechnic, Auchi, Colleges of Agriculture and Education in the state.
Others were past SUG presidents, National Association of Edo Students, Joint Campus Committee, Youth groups and National Association of Nigerian Students.