Oyo State Governor, ‘Seyi Makinde, on Friday, 26 January, 2024, reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to the improvement of the education sector in the state.
He expressed the readiness of the state to provide necessary support in the areas of education infrastructure and the recruitment of more teachers in order to improve the quality of education.
Governor Makinde made this known while receiving a Sweden delegation led by the Ambassador of Sweden to Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon and ECOWAS, Her Excellency Ms Annika Hahn-England, at his Ikolaba residence in Ibadan.
While welcoming the team, the governor said that his administration has recruited about six thousand active teachers and that more will still be recruited to improve the quality of education.
He added that education should not be centralised, as local and state governments should be able to contribute their quotas to the education system.
He said: “I believe that education should not be centralised, because we have certain parts of the country that are far ahead in terms of their infrastructure.
“I believe that as a country, we need to do certain things so that we can free up states and even local government areas to handle most of their things. So, we are happy to look at the solutions that you want to present.
“Actually, as an administration, when I was coming in, we put together a roadmap for accelerated development of Oyo State and focused on four major pillars – Health, education, security, and expansion of our economy through agribusiness and development of our infrastructure.
“And my first budget was to ensure that we met the UNESCO recommended standard on budgetary allocation to the education sector. Since then, we have tried to improve on that.
“When I came in, we recruited about six thousand teachers and, this year, we are recruiting more.
“Also, it will interest you to know that those six thousand teachers have now become the most active and the ones that are now carrying the burden of our education system. This is because we insisted that rather than follow the old ways of recruitment, we did them on merit.”
The governor also noted that apart from the agribusiness sector, which has been a priority area for improving the economy of the state, the government has also realised that education could play an important role in expanding the state’s economy.
He, therefore, assured that the state government would provide the necessary support to any programme that can to bring about more improvements in the education system.
“As a state government, we have an agreement with the IITA to collaborate. I believe if they bring it to the table, they know my answer straight away. We will go ahead and provide the necessary support as a government.
“If it is something new, let us try it. Let us utilise the current structure that we have and see what we can get out of that. I want to let you know that we are committed to expanding our economy, pushing the limits in terms of unlocking some of the potentials that are here.”
Earlier in her address, the Ambassador of Sweden to Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon and ECOWAS, Her Excellency Ms Hahn-England, said the Swedish Government is interested in partnering and complementing the efforts of Governor Makinde in developing the state’s education sector.
She added that the interest also extends to other focused sectors of valuable economic investments, noting that Sweden is also ready to learn from Oyo State on ways to better improve the economy.