Kwara State Government will spend at least N100m to renovate the State Library Complex and use it as a launchpad for e-learning and temporary headquarters for the state’s innovation hub, Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq said late Wednesday.
He said the renovation work would begin very soon as part of his efforts to reposition the education sector in the state and prepare the youths for a brighter future built on innovative skills and opportunities to be among the best in the country.
“We are going to have an innovation hub here. I have recently visited the state library and it is in a bad situation. The books are not up to-date and the roof is leaking. The whole place is decrepit,” AbdulRazaq said during a meeting with the Kwara State chapter of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS).
“So, we are going to spend N100 million to fix it. Once it is fixed, we will begin our innovation hub there as temporary site. We will get some space there for e-learning process with free internet access so that people can go and do what they need to do.”
The students leaders were led to the meeting by President Comrade Adebayo Saheed Olosasa of the NANS in the state.
AbdulRazaq also said his administration has jerked up bursary for students from N100m inherited from the last administration to N200m in the revised budget just passed by the Kwara State House of Assembly.
He added however that payments would be made directly to individual beneficiaries based on an online data base already being generated by the Ministry of Education.
“Now, we are insisting on disbursement of bursary directly to the students. The reason for that is that when I looked at the Social Investment Programme of the federal government — market moni, N-Power and trader moni — I noticed that every beneficiary was getting their money because it was direct alert to them. But the federal government’s other intervention project like rice and cassava hardly got anywhere because some people were just diverting it. So I don’t want students money being diverted,” he said.
“And I am also surprised that we don’t have a data base for students. There should be a database which the ministry of education is now doing. It is on the basis of having database that they can disburse to the students directly. That database, once it is robust and interactive, will be shared with the students and unions across all institutions. With this, students unions can even hold elections online. That is e-governance, that is where we are going to. We are not going to wait for the world to leave us behind.”
AbdulRazaq also promised to ensure that students are carried along on issues affecting them, urging them to shun hard drugs and other habits that could be inimical to their future.
Olosasa, for his part, commended the Governor for his giant strides in the education sector and other areas since his inauguration.
He however called on the administration to pay more premium to the needs of the students across the state. He appealed to AbdulRazaq to revive the practice of giving subvention and operational buses to the students’ bodies as were done by the late former Governor Mohammed Lawal.
Olosasa commended AbdulRazaq for the nomination of Miss Joanna Kolo, calling on him to consider appointing one of the students’ leaders “who understand our situation” as Special Assistant on Student Matters.