As the restoration administration of Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson approaches the end of its first 12 months in office, the Governor has been speaking on the scorecard of the administration in various sectors.
Addressing Journalists in Abuja, the Nation’s capital, Governor Dickson disclosed that, Government has made huge investments in the educational sector because of its commitment to developing the human capacity of the State.
Describing education as the most critical component for the overall development of the State, he stated that, Government awarded a total of 137 PhD and close to 300 Masters Degree scholarships to Bayelsans, who are currently studying in Universities in various parts of the world.
According to him, Government made initial provision of One billion Naira for the post graduate scholarship scheme, but it has since overshot that amount inview of the massive demand it got from Bayelsans.
“The sums involved are quite staggering, but we believe it is a good investment. Because of our passion for human capacity development, we have since overshot the N1 billion mark we originally earmarked for the scheme.
And I don’t regret it”.
Hon. Dickson said, the administration also cleared hug backlog of unpaid fees for Bayelsa undergraduates in higher institutions of learning in various parts of the world, in addition to the award of 250 post primary school scholarships in the best secondary schools around the country.
He expressed satisfaction with the investments made sofar in the education sector, adding that, another tranche of N500 million will be released by next week to further underscore Government’s commitment to the various scholarship programmes, both within and outside the Country.
His words; “By next week we shall release another tranche of N500 million.
It is a very robust programme of which we are proud of.”
In an answer to a question, the Bayelsa State Chief Executive explained that, Government is motivated to invest massively in education because of the urgent need to prepare Bayelsans, give them the required training and skills to to be able to contrbute meaningfully to an increasingly competitive globalised economy, noting that investing in human capacity development has generally proved to become the most pressing challenge in the contemporary world.
“Don’t forget we have the Niger Delta University. We have a College of Education and other schools- including the secondary schools. We hope to use this to build up our human resource base. Governments need to invest more in education. It is the absence of this that is manifesting as the current challenges we now face.” the Governor pointed out.
Speaking on plans by Government to impart valuable vocational skills on indigent Bayelsans, Hon. Dickson stated that, while some youths have been sent on skills acquisition training programmes elsewhere, Government is already setting up vocational training centres across the state.
According to him, his administration will continue to support Bayelsans outside the already existing scholarship programmes, to acquire technical and vocational skills outside until such a time when our local institutions are well positioned to take over the responsibility.
“It is important to continue to make our people acquire both formal and technical or vocational education.”
Governor Dickson restated Government’s resolve to carry every Bayelsan along in in his Restoration agenda and called on all to take advantage of the various programmes to better their lot and be more useful to society.