Report by Seidu Ademu
The Kogi State Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Hon. Wemi Jones, has embarked on stakeholders’ engagement tour for partnership with the Federal Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) in his effort to revamping education sector in the State.
The first point of call by the Commissioner was the Federal Ministry of Education where he met with the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr Sunny Echono in his office in Abuja.
At the meeting, the Commissioner said that the visit was to seek for areas of support and collaborations with the federal ministry of education, saying he has resolved not to leave any stone unturn in building synergies with the relevant stakeholders.
Jones further commended the federal ministry of education for all the past support that Kogi State have received from them in the sector.
Responding, the Permanent Secretary, Mr Sunny Echono, said that the Federal Ministry of Education would sustain the collaboration with the Kogi state ministry of education in the area of basic education, quality assurance, curriculum development, adult and non formal education, data generation as well as training and retraining, among others.
Speaking on the challenges facing the secondary education subsector in the Country, Echono said that palliative measures were underway as the Federal Government has given nod to the creation of Secondary School Commission.
He said that the Commission, when established, would enable the secondary schools to share from the consolidated funds as in the case of UBEC for primary education.
The Commissioner also paid an advocacy visit to the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, Dr Umar Tambuwal, who lauded the Commissioner’s initiative to embark on such stakeholders engagement with the relevant federal MDAs.
Tambuwal urged the Commissioner to take advantage of the abundant mineral resources deposited in the state to use the Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) to unlock the potentials to improving the state’s economy.
Tambuwal assured the Commissioner of the full support of the ministry of science and technology, that would enable Kogi State to enjoy every available benefit in the sector from the federal government.
Earlier, the Commissioner told the Permanent Secretary that he was in the ministry to solicit for support in advancing the sector, saying the future of Nigeria depend majorly on science and technology.
”This is the reason we need to work closely with with the federal ministry to ensure that the teaching and learning of science and technology is deeply entrenched in Kogi State.
The Commissioner thereafter visited the National Library of Nigeria where he was received by the Director Public Service, Mrs Ruth Bature, and Director Collection Development and Technical Services of the National Library, Mrs Anthonia Onuoha, on behalf of the National Librarian Prof. Lenrie Olatokunbo Aina.
Onuoha, who spoke on behalf of Aina, commended Kogi State Government for her collaborative efforts and for providing a place for the take off a branch of the national library in Lokoja.
She noted that the work plan for the inauguration and management of the branch had been forwarded to the state, saying publishers needed not go far in obtaining International Standard Book Number (ISBN) among other benefits for the State.
On her part, Mrs Oyiza Agu, the Head of Branch (HOB) Kogi State, stated that May 13, 2020, remained the proposed date for the inauguration of Lokoja branch, noting that Kogi is strategically located which would allow more people to benefit from the library.
She appealed to the State Government to facilitate the availability of land for the branch’s permanent site in the state capital.
In his response, the Commissioner assured that the State Government would do whatever was needed to be done promptly to ensure the take off of the branch as planned.
He expressed his excitement over the development as everything is taking shape very fast, restating the commitment of the State to achieve many things from the partnership.