Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has confessed that the state-owned Ambrose Alli University (AAU), Ekpoma, is yet to take the shape of what a university should look like.
Oshiomhole made the confession on Thursday at a town hall meeting with the people of the State in Benin as part of activities commemorating his seven years in office as governor of the state.
He said in spite of what his administration has done to reposition Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, he would admit that the University does not represent what a university should be.
He however annnounced that his administration would continue to sustain the funding of AAU, just as he called on parents to be prepared to pay higher fees to enable their children access quality education.
But in spite of this, Oshiomhole said his administration has achieved much in the education sector, making Edo to come second in this year’s NECO organized examination, even as he admitted that more work still remains to be done.
The governor who reeled out in volume, achievements of his stewardship in the past seven years, announced that work at the $1 billion Azura Power Plant project located at Ihonvbor, near Benin, Edo State, would resume within the two months when the Federal Government signs the final documents.
He disclosed that work on the project which is expected to contribute 500 Megawatts to the National Grid, was stalled following the refusal of the Federal Government under President Goodluck Jonathan to sign the final document which would have enable the project to take off.
“The Federal Government under Jonathan refused to sign the final document for work to start. This led to Julius Berger and other contractors from demobilising from site,” he said.
Commenting on the financial status of the state, the Governor disclosing that the State revenue stands at N1.8 billion with a monthly wage bill of N3 billion,
On the Benin Storm Water Project designed to check the perennial flooding and erosion in the state capital, Oshiomhole said the State Government has paid N23 billion out of the N30 billion it sourced from the capital market. He revealed that his government has also released the sum of N3.5 billion to the contractor to resume work in the dry season, adding that the project has substantially tackled flooding problem in Benin.
In the area of qualitative health provision, Governor Oshiomhole while speaking on the 200-bed ultra modern Central Hospital being built in Benin, and said the project which suffered an initial setback following an accident, would be completed February next year.
Commenting on the Land Use Charge law which has attracted ernomous criticism, the Governor disclosed that the Law targets only the rich and not the poor, stressing that his administration has a duty to lay a solid financial foundation for his successor to build on.
Apparent making a reply to an advertorial placed in national dailies by a past governor of the State who accused him of not building industries, Governor Oshiomhole said it was not in his plan to set up industries, pointing out that the responsibility of Government was to attract investors by creating the enabling environment.
According to him, all the industries set up by Chief Lucky Igbinedion’s administration, namely, Ehor Fruit Juice, Uromi Cassavita and Ikpeshi Fertilizer Plant, were used to siphon public funds, adding that they have all become liability to the State Government as they never functioned one day since they were set up.
Governor Oshiomhole thanked the people of the state for their support and promised to continue to give his all to the state, just as he promised them that work would soon resume again on roads under construction across the state as the dry season sets in, disclosing that he has released funds for the State Rapid Response Agency saddled with fixing of failed portions on roads.
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