Edo State Governor Mr Godwin Obaseki announced on Tuesday that classes at the reconstructed Edo State College of Agriculture in Iguoriakhi, Ovia South West Local Government Area, will resume there in September 2023 with an enrollment of around 2,000 students.
Obaseki made his remarks during a town hall meeting with students, faculty, and local residents held on the school grounds in Iguoriakhi.
The governor expressed his appreciation to the locals, particularly the young people, for creating a safe and productive atmosphere for the construction workers.
According to Obaseki, the school has an “administration block,” a library, three smaller lecture halls, a large auditorium that can hold up to 1,000 people, and a primary healthcare clinic for students and locals. While we do provide hostels, their capacity is limited and cannot accommodate all 2,000 students. Students will be moving off campus, thus the community is encouraged to build homes for them.
He said, “We are spending more in facilities, bringing technology here; broadband internet connection, fibres, 24/7 electricity, among others,” promising to widen the road leading to the school.
Obaseki continued, “Electricity is crucial as we are striving to connect IPP to this place. While the cost is high, we intend to find a way to fund the installation of permanent lighting here once solar power is no longer an option. We would site a police station within the school if the law allows it, but if it doesn’t, it will be located outside.
He continued by saying that his administration is working to improve the school’s governance so that its students graduate ready to contribute to society rather than take away from it.
‘We are insisting that the faculty be grade A; first-class faculty to ensure that we create great graduates,’ the governor stated. Instead of placing a premium on diplomas, we’ve partnered with international corporations that will have representation on the school’s governing body. This is done to ensure that when you graduate from the program, you are prepared for the workforce.
You can choose to work for enormous estate farms or strike out on your own with your newfound skills. The school should be ready to welcome students in September. From hiring through student registration, we want the local community to be an integral part of our school and its success.
You may graduate from the type of school we’ve created with confidence that you’ll be able to find work thereafter, or that you’ll go on to become an employer yourself. The odds of acceptance, graduation, and employment are all increased for these students.
It was constructed with the pupils in mind. As applications will be accepted starting in June, we hope for a high turnout of interested students. In addition to Benin City, we will also have an office in Ovia South West where you can pick up your forms from the education secretary,” he said.
And if you want the school to be number one, you all must come to work after you have been employed or else, you will be terminated as we will tolerate laziness,” he said. He guaranteed that a quota will be set aside for qualified locals to work as academic and non-academic staff at the university.
The contractor has assured us that the majority of the infrastructure work, which requires the last touches to the building and landscaping, will be completed within the next two months. More important than the physical plant of a school is the leadership and direction it receives, so we lay a premium on this aspect more than others.
The Iyase of Udo, HRH Patrick Ekhoeutomwen, thanked the governor for his efforts to improve Ovia South West by reopening the College of Agriculture in Iguoriakhi. This will pave the way for the region’s economic growth and development.
Mrs Elizabeth Osabuohien, president of the Ovia South West Market Women Association, expressed gratitude to the governor for redeveloping the school into a top-notch facility, highlighting the new professional doors it has opened for market women.