Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi; flanked by his wife, Erelu Bisi Fayemi (right); Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Dr (Mrs) Olubimpe Aderiye; and state officials and representatives of the benefiting communities during the presentation of cheques to three Government Technical Colleges (Igbara – Odo Ekiti, Ijero Ekiti and Otun Ekiti) as part of activities for the flag off of the Innovation Development and Effectiveness in the Acquisition of Skills (IDEAS) Project in Ado-Ekiti on Tuesday.
Three Technical Colleges in Ekiti State have benefitted from the World Bank assisted IDEAS project to the tune of over $250,000 (over 105 million naira) each to enhance the capacity of the Nigerian skills development system to produce relevant skills for the formal and informal sectors.
Presenting the cheques to the benefitting colleges at an elaborate ceremony in Ado-Ekiti on Tuesday, Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, who, noted that the success of the project depends largely on the perception of all Ekiti people, especially the three host communities, implored everyone to embrace it and partake in the activities so that many people can benefit from the intervention.
The benefitting colleges were Government Technical Colleges, Otun, Government Technical College, Ijero and Government technical College, Igbara Odo, further assured the people that his administration is more committed to providing enabling environment for developmental projects in the State hence charged all partakers to adhere strictly to all the Bank’s guidelines in the course of project implementation.
Dr Fayemi who was elated at the World Bank IDEAS project which he said would assist his government to accelerate programmes targeted at youth empowerment, said the project would focus on collaborating with the state in the training of teachers to impact technical education knowledge which he said could not be driven by government alone but through collaboration with the private sector.
While reassuring the people of the state that he would live the state better than he met it in 2018, Dr Fayemi said he was glad that enrolment in all the six Technical Colleges in the state, which was barely 700 in 2018 is currently put at about 2,500, adding that this was achieved through constant sensitization and all round improvement in the colleges.
He also noted that the state would continue to promote sustainable development through the use of “our brilliant hands to keep pace with the dynamic technological trend in the world by helping to reduce the saturated labour market and escalated poverty rate of citizens.”
The Governor expressed his appreciation to the officials of the World Bank and the Federal Government of Nigeria for much of their developmental projects from which Ekiti State is a prime beneficiary.
Ekiti was one of the six states in Nigeria and the only state in the Southwest that is participating in the project.
“IDEAS is a World Bank assisted project that is designed to fill skill gaps at both the public and private sectors. Ekiti State is one of the six benefitting states. The facilities at the Government Technical Colleges at Igbara Odo, Ijero and Otun will be upgraded and modernised. In addition, all the teachers and instructors will be adequately trained, so also in the private sector, skills of Master Craft Persons and their apprentices will be enhanced.
“Many will recall that we launched the concept of Life Academics during my first term in office. We started the revamping of the Technical Colleges with the total reconstruction and equipping of the Government Technical College, Ado-Ekiti.
“In a bid to improve the state technical colleges, Ekiti State Government recruited seventy (70) teaching staff and fifty-five (55) non-teaching staff to improve productivity. Perimeter fencing of the colleges is ongoing. Attention must be drawn to the fact that the state has experienced over 300% increase in students’ enrolment into our technical colleges; from 700 in 2018 to 2505 in 2022. This was made possible through constant sensitization and motivational programmes of the government.
“In fulfillment of the promise I made to Ekiti-kete at the beginning of this year, precisely on January 1, that I will work for you till the last day of this administration. I am keeping faith with that sacred pact, even with renewed vigour. From now till October 16, when I gracefully hand over the baton to our Governor-elect, events like this will be commonplace as we continue in our quest to make life better for the generality of our people, and bequeath a formidable foundation for our growth and economic stability.” The Governor said.
The Commissioner for Education Science and Technology, Dr Bimpe Aderiye commended the Governor for his tireless efforts at developing the state especially, the education sector.
Dr Aderiye congratulated the benefitting institutions and urged them to make proper use of the fund.
Chairman, Board for Technical and Vocational Education, Hon. Kayode Babade commended Governor Fayemi for the remarkable improvement his administration brought to the Technical education sub- sector through prompt release of funds for the avalanche of ideas that has brought landmark achievements to the sector.
Babade also disclosed that it was during Governor Fayemi administration that payment of school fees was abolished, payment of about #540 million debt owed by the Technical College, Ado Ekiti as well as facilitating training and empowerment of 200 Ekiti youths in collaboration with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) with equipment relevant to their trades.