Why I established six universities, four polytechnics & two colleges of education-- Okorocha - Trends and Politics


Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Why I established six universities, four polytechnics & two colleges of education-- Okorocha

Governor Rochas Okorocha with members of the Implementation Committee on New Tertiary Institutions in the State and Senior Government Officials after the Inauguration of the Committee on Wednesday, April 17, 2019 at Sam Mbakwe EXCO Chambers Government House Owerri

Governor Rochas Okorocha has said that his administration has built Six (6) Universities, four Polytechnics and two Colleges of Education to take care of Imo indigenes and other Nigerians qualified for University admissions year in, year out, but always denied admission because of the limited spaces in Imo State University and the issue of Catchment area in other Universities across the Country.
The governor told Journalists at a Press Conference at the Government House Owerri on Wednesday, April 17, 2019 that only few Imo indigenes who seek for University admission every year succeed in having the admission, adding that he has built the Universities to solve such problem once and for all.
He said in the past eight years about one million Students who are indigenes of the State had sought for University admissions, but not more than ten percent out of the lot could get admission, adding that most of the Students who had desired for University education had been frustrated out of their life dream with this ugly development.
His words “Let me inform you that in 2012 Imo State had 183,865 JAMB Applications with the second being Delta State with 88,876 Applications. In 2013, the State had 134,610 applications with Delta also coming second with 101,610. In 2014, the State had 104,382, and Delta State 87,153 to maintain the second position. In 2015, the State had 111,066 and Delta State had 78,856”.
He Continued “In 2016, the 103,122 and Osun State coming second with 88,655. In 2017, the State got 101,868 while Oyo State came second with 86,695. In 2018, Imo had 92,890 while Oyo which came second had 86,695. And if you add that of 2019 we have almost One million JAMB applicants from Imo State hungry for University education. And you may find out that less than ten percent of this number must have been offered admission while the rest would continue to wait.
He added “Imo State University is currently over burdened with students population, and the establishment of these Universities will help in no small way in giving admission to Imo sons and daughters and other Nigerians wishing to seek admission in Imo State Universities”.
He said “We have agreed that Imo State University is free for all Imo indigenes. But for the new Universities they are Public Private Partnership (PPP) driven. We have to source for funds through various means like payment of fees to sustain them. What government has done is to provide the infrastructure and buildings to set up the Universities while the major partners will see to the day to day running of the institutions. They will charge fees to run the institutions. In this case the private sector will agree with the government but all we want is for us to have a functional University education to care for our children”.
He stated “It is my pleasure to inform you of the Universities so far established and how we intend to kick-off. These projects have been ongoing for over three years now and Imo State House of Assembly has made the necessary laws for the establishment of these Universities in Imo State. University of Agriculture and Environmental Services Aboh/Ngor-Okpala. The site was chosen by Dee Sam Mbakwe over 35 years ago, intended for Imo State University (IMSU). This University has led us to the conversion of Imo State Polytechnic Umuagwo to take the status of a full-fledged University. Right now, Imo State Polytechnic is now University of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences with a Campuses in Aboh/Ngor-Okpala and Umuagwo. It will now be a degree issuing University”.
The governor further stated “We have equally built four Polytechnics; Mbonu Ojike Polytechnic Arondinzogu, Ahiara Polytechnic, Ahiazu Mbaise, Ehime Polytechnic at Ehime Mbano, Bishop Shanahan Polytechnic Orlu. These Polytechnics are ready for academic activities. We have also built other Universities in Onuimo, known as University for Science and Technology Onuimo. The University is ready to commence academic activities. We also have University of Creative Technology in Omuma Isiaku/Nkwerre. The University is completed and ready for academic activities. We also have the University of Medical Sciences at Ogboko, established primarily for medical matters, to produce young doctors and lab Scientists. What gave us courage to embark on this project is the fact that we have 27 new 200 bed hospital, located in each of the 27 LGA which will serve as outreach centres for the Medical Students in the University. We also have the Marine University in Oguta State under Construction”.
According to him “With these Institutions coming into place the trauma and difficulties faced by Jambites in the State will be a thing of the past and Imo will recover its glory as number one in the education industry in Nigeria. What we have done was to have investors into our educational projects to either invest with their resources or invest in the management of the Institutions. We are proud to say that so many organizations including Churches have responded to our request. What we are waiting now is to get accreditation from NUC to commence academic session”.
His words “Let me re-emphasize that because of the structure of these Universities as PPP Universities, they are not free for those seeking for admission excerpt in Imo State University which is 100% owned by Imo State Government that provides free tuition education for the indigenes of the State as has been the case for the past 7years”.
The governor also inaugurated the Implementation Committee on the New Tertiary Institutions with Professor Chima Iwuchukwu as Chairman. Other members of the Committee are, Prof. JMB Nnadozie, Barr. Mrs. Ugochi Nnanna Okoro, Chief Dr. Lawrence Mbadiwe, Prof. Florence Emenalo and Sir Ken Ejiogu.

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