From Maurice Okafor, Enugu
The Enugu State Executive Council has approved the sum of N2,572,686,367 for construction of new classroom blocks and renovation of dilapidated structures in primary and junior secondary schools in the state.
The money which will be expended on 208 projects through the Enugu State’s Universal Basic Education Board (ENSUBEB) is part of the moves to improve the standard of education and ensure better learning environment in the state.
The Commissioner for Education, Prof. Uche Eze, who briefed newsmen after the meeting of the council, said the approval also covered the procurement of classroom plastic chairs and desks, white boards and sporting equipment.
He disclosed that the council in keeping with the four-point agenda of Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi’s administration as it concerns quality education and welfare of workers, approved N271 million as bailout fund to Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT) to enable the institution offset the remaining seven months monetization arrears owed its workers.
The education commissioner explained that prior to the inception of the present administration, ESUT workers were owed 14 months arrears of their monetization, recalling that the state government three months ago had approved an equivalent amount for the institution, which was used to pay the first phase of seven months arrears.
“These arrears of monetization owed the staff of ESUT dated back as far as 2006. This is the money owed by previous administrations. But his excellency in his magnanimity and concern for the welfare of staff of the state has made this fund available to make these workers happy and motivate them to put in more efforts to ensure that educational delivery is improved,” Eze said.
He also stated that the council in its determination to ensure a speedy relocation of the Enugu State College of Education Technical from its temporary site in Enugu urban to the permanent site in Ihe, Awgu Local Government Area, also approved the sum of N14.6 million for the clearing of the site, erection of perimeter fence and creation of access road in the new site.