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Senator representing Abia North, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu has appealed to the state governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu to handover the State College of Education located in Arochukwu to the federal government, citing poor management.
Kalu, a former governor of the state made this call on Friday shortly after conducting a delegation of the federal government led by the Minister of Power, Engr. Saleh Mamman round a transmission station in Arochukwu.
According to Kalu, Chief Whip of the Senate, the inability of the governor to pay backlog of salaries numbering about 22 months indicates the staff are not well motivated to transfer knowledge that can help in building our public schools.
‘The College of Education in Arochukwu, we have been appealing to the governor to hand it over to the federal government. It is his business to hand it over because it’s his property.’
‘Buhari government is a government of law. We cannot seize any state government property without the consent of the state. We are appealing to the governor to surrender and give us consent to take over Arochukwu College of Education and rename it Arochukwu Federal Government College of Education.’
‘And their salaries, I have a petition. 22 months have not been paid’ he said.
He reminded the people that between the period of 1999-2007 when he was the governor, students in public schools in the state enjoyed a tuition-free education.
He lamented that Alvan Ikoku College of Education and other academic institutions in the state have been abandoned due to bad management.
On the transmission station which he started while he was Abia governor, Sen. Kalu commended President Muhammadu Buhari for giving his Ministers charge to go round the country to reactivate and complete abandoned projects across the country.
He expressed optimism that when completed, the project in addition with the road projects which he had facilitated in the area will help in accelerating the economy.
Responding to the call, Abia State government says it’s working hard to ensure that the institution continues to run and improve its operations.
In a statement issued by Commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu, he stated that while ensuring that every month the state pays subventions to the institution, he added that the committee reviewing how to settle outstanding salaries in the parastatal will soon submit its report for implementation by the government.
He however wondered why the senator has turned a deaf ear to the issue of bad federal roads in his constituency.
He said this would attract the former governor accolades than debating on handing over the management of Abia State College of Education (Technical) Arochukwu to the Federal Government.
He said, ‘The call by our former Governor who happens to be the Senator representing Abia North where the institution is located, for the state government to hand over ASCETA to the federal government, is interesting and at the same time revealing.’
‘One would have expected the Senator to know that state governments don’t just “dump” or hand over state institutions to FGN but instead there are processes to be followed which leads through the National Assembly. If the Senator is aware of this fact, I don’t know but let me inform him that he can approach the federal ministry of education first and then table a draft bill before the National Assembly for passage in that regard. If he succeeds in passing the bill into law, it will hopefully be his first bill and we expect the APC-led federal ministry of education to do the needful.’
‘In the same vein, I wish to encourage our Senator to also canvass before the National Assembly the issue of bad federal roads in his constituency especially Umuahia-Ohafia-Arochukwu federal road, Umuahia-Bende-Ohafia federal road, erosion menace within the zone, among other issues also requiring focused advocacy and action by our Senator at the federal level. The people of Abia North Senatorial district will certainly appreciate such engagement by their Senator and the place to start the talk is the hollowed chambers of National Assembly’.
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