Governor Peter Mbah of Enugu State, yesterday, disclosed his administration has activated plans to review the state’s academic curriculum.
Noting that education was key to achieving and sustaining the legacy projects the administration had rolled out, Mbah said the academic curriculum review was targeted at providing independent, well-equipped, and adequately trained students with modern skills irrespective of areas of specialization.
Mbah spoke when the senior management staff of the Enugu campus of the Nigerian Law School, led by the Deputy Director General (DDG), Maureen Stanley-Idum, visited the Government House, to solicit the state’s support to upgrade the institution, his administration was keen on providing the right infrastructure and conducive learning environment for students in the state and would earmark high allocation to the education sector in next year’s budget.
He assured support for the Nigerian Law School in the areas of new infrastructure and rehabilitation of the existing dilapidated structures in the Enugu campus of the school at Agbani.
Insisting on the education sector being one of the major beneficiaries of next year’s allocations in the budget, the governor said the administration had picked a special interest in primary school, through the tertiary education system, pointing at the cut-off programme that was designed to encourage early child learning.
“We have a programme we refer to as Cut-Off Point which identifies the young ones at age three and instills in them the right civic habits and moral values. We are changing the way they learn. We are also interested in our students in the university,” he said.
Addressing the request of the law school, Mbah said before vying for the governorship office, he had interacted with the former deputy director general (DDG)of the campus where he promised to build a state-of-the-art moot court for them, as part of Pinnacle Oil and Gas Ltd.’s corporate social responsibility, saying the plan had not been abandoned as he would reach out to the management of the company to remind them of the pledge.
He promised to direct his special adviser on Project Development and Implementation to inspect the conditions of the institution and activate the process of rehabilitation, adding that the state government would not abandon the school, especially now that it was in dire need of intervention.
“I noticed you outlined a good number of pressing needs. You talked about vehicles, the auditorium, and the renovation of a dilapidated academic building for lecturers, ICT, and the library, among others. So, we are going to partner with the Nigerian Law School to see how we can support you on those items you listed. Be assured of our support and commitment,” the governor said.
The DDG had earlier expressed support and solidarity for the governor, stressing that their visit was to identify with him as both a lawyer and a governor who understood the task of leading the state to greater heights.
“It is our earnest prayer that the Lord will increase your capacity as an instrument of peace and social transformation in a way that your administration will be characterized by remarkably improved good governance with attendant positive fruits seen in interpersonal harmony among the people, infrastructure development, social cohesion, and security.”
Stanley-Idum underscoring the challenges of the campus and the need to expand its capacity from its current 750 to 1,500 capacity, disclosed the institution was battling with the problems of inadequate facilities and infrastructure development, urging the government for immediate intervention.
“The campus faces challenges and lags behind other campuses in terms of inadequate facilities and infrastructure development. Given the vast expanse of land available, coupled with the huge backlog of law graduates who cannot be admitted, it is imperative to develop as quickly as possible, the Augustine Nnamani campus to reap the maximum advantage and benefits from the decentralization of the Nigerian Law School and the citing of the campus in this part of the country.
“The citing of the campus in Enugu was meant to ameliorate the suffering of our students, especially those from this part of the country who had to travel all the way to Lagos or Abuja for their one-year vocational training in law,” she said.
The government also dismissed reports that it has put up the Hotel Presidential for sale, stressing that the hotel will never be sold.
In a statement, Commissioner for Information and Communication, Aka Eze Aka, said it only gave the Enugu State Housing Development Corporation (ESHDC) approval to take over an undeveloped part of the premises to raise funds for public-oriented infrastructure development projects.
“The purported sale of Hotel Presidential is not true. Contrary to the reports, the government is in the process of partnering with private sector investors to restore the hotel to its glory as the premier three-star hotel East of Niger.
“The government only gave approval for the ESHDC to sell an undeveloped area of the hotel lying fallow for more than five decades without adding any value to the hotel.
“It should be stressed that the present landmass of the hotel exceeds the minimum acreage for a three-star hotel.
“Government has decided as a matter of policy to dispose moribund and unusable assets at the current market values and deploy the proceeds to critical infrastructure and housing projects beneficial to the masses. The empty plots at Hotel Presidential are among such disposable assets, and others will be made known to the public subsequently.
“But for the avoidance of doubt, Hotel Presidential has not been sold and will never be sold.”
The commissioner said the government had been inundated with credible security reports pointing to the use of the undeveloped area now marked for sale as a hideout for criminals, adding that a shrine for initiation of cultists was also recently discovered there.
“The sale of the lands will be open, transparent, and competitive. Limited time shall be given to serious bidders to avoid the antics of speculators. The government is looking at how quickly the plots can be built up to add to the aesthetics of the prime location adjacent to the prestigious hotel.”