The Akwa Ibom State Government says it has rehabilitated about 400 public schools in the last three years in spite of the economic situation in the country.
The Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Charles Udoh, made the disclosure while speaking with newsmen in Uyo on Sunday.
Udoh said that the state government had compiled the list of all public schools, both primary and secondary, to know what each school required to function effectively.
He assured Akwa Ibom people that Gov. Udom Emmanuel attached great premium to education of their children, saying that was why the state government continued to provide free education.
The commissioner added that the government also paid the West African Examination Council (WAEC) fees of some students to encourage children to go to school.
“The ongoing transformation in public schools across the state will include as many schools as the state’s resources can carry.
“The decay in education infrastructure dates back to independence. This administration has so far renovated 400 out of the 2,000 schools in the state,’’ Udoh said.
He explained that it was not possible for government to rehabilitate all the 2,000 public schools in three years.
Udoh said, “It is practically impossible to fix 2,000 schools in three years.’’
The commissioner said that the government had also provided enabling environment for investors to create employment for its qualified youths.
According to him, this is to completely change the public service setting of the state.
He said that some industries attracted to the state included the syringe industry, the fertilizer blending factory, the metering plant and the flour blending factory.
Udoh noted that private investors were ahead of the government in business management, saying that many sophisticated government-owned industries had folded up in the past due to administrative bottlenecks.
He explained that the Ibom Tropicana Entertainment Centre initiated by the immediate past administration had not been abandoned, saying that government was taking its time to source for investors to take over the business.
“What Gov. Udom Emmanuel is doing is not to build political projects.
“He is embarking on sustainable development beyond vote seeking; he is trying to sustain the economy of Akwa Ibom State through industrialisation.
“He wants to change the state from a public service state to an industrialised state.
“That is why industries brought in by government are not government- owned; they are attracted to create employment for our people.
“They will, in turn, boost our internally-generated revenue and sustainability is assured,’’ Udoh said.
The commissioner assured people that the governor would not mortgage the future of the state, but would channel the state’s resources to productive ventures for its development.