Edo State Governor Adams Oshiomhole has described education as a top priority of government at all levels in the country, adding that government must always strive to ensure that schools are not shut down..
Speaking at the 20th Convocation ceremony of the Ambrose Alli University, Monday, Oshiomhole said when Nigerian schools are shut, those in other countries remain open and students from shut Nigerian schools are expected to compete on the same level with their peers from other climes .
He said: “there are many universities that are on strike, and ASUU has cleverly reversed the conventional adage or even law which says, ‘no work, no pay’. Now, ASUU finds themselves having to now say, ‘no pay, no work’.
“As we speak, I am sure there are a number of universities that are not working because the states have not paid them, and also I am aware of reported cases of some state governments saying straight away to the universities that they are not going to be able to pay more than a fraction of the subvention that they have been paying on account of the current economic challenges. For me, I am clear that if the Nigerian state defaults in every aspect of its obligation to the people, the Nigerian state, federal and state governments, must never default in its obligation to ensuring that teaching and learning never stop.
“The truth is, Nigeria must reorder its priorities. We must never allow our educational institutions to close down. Closing down by one minute will cost us more than one year of our GDP because every time we stop learning, as Obama would say, ‘when we go so low, they continue to go so high’. And yet, we are expected to compete on the level playing field”
He assured that the incoming administration in the state would consolidate on his current achievements, “If I haven’t kept the last pledge, there is nothing wrong with it because the government has not come to an end. Conscious of these unending commitments, that was why in our last campaign, we spoke to continuity and consolidation. So, the next government must consolidate on what I am already doing and continue to do even more, including keeping promises that I made in good faith but which I may not have been able to deliver timely, but those promises must be delivered, and these will be in my hand-over note.”
Earlier, Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof Ignatius Onimawo paid glowing tribute to Governor Adams Oshiomhole for his invaluable contributions to the development of the university.
Also speaking, the Chancellor, Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, HRH Alhaji (Dr) Yahaya Abubakar, Etsu Nupe commended Governor Oshiomhole for his development of the institution.
The university awarded doctorate, masters, postgraduate diplomas and first degrees to deserving graduates while an honorary doctorate degree in business administration was awarded to the Chairman, Channels Media Group, John Momoh, who is from the state