Bayelsa Residents Applaud Seriake Dickson On Education

By Ebere Agozie

Yenagoa – Some residents of Yenogoa have praised the efforts of the Gov. Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa in developing education in the state.Speaking to newsmen at the ongoing Nigerian Guild of Investigative Journalists (NGIJ) preliminary investigation on  the quality of governance in the state, they said Dickson
deserved praise for focusing on education.Mr Antony Buruboyefe commended the state government for constructing infrasture in the Niger Delta University, African University and Bayelsa Medical School, Yenagoa.”He is doing a goo job regarding education.

He has invested, initiated reforms, upgrade and overhaul the state’s education sector,” he said.Also speaking, Bayelsa PDP Deputy Chairman, Chief Victor Sam-Ateki, said that the Dickson-led administration has constructed modern schools across the State, especially in the rural areas to encourage more people to embrace education.”Gov. Dickson has prioritised education in primary, secondary and tertiary institutions by providing them with state-the-art facilities.“The governor raised the bar in the education sector such that now the state can compete favourably with other states during National examinations like WAEC, NECO and others.“He has changed the narrative for good.” Chief  Sam-Ateki added.

NAN reports that the Bayelsa government on May 24, launched the State Education Trust Fund (SETF).The education trust fund was part of the government’s action strategy to sustain the huge investment it had made in the education sector.Dickson signed the education trust fund bill into law, which made it compulsory for different categories of workers, including contractors and civil servants in Bayelsa, to pay education levies.

Dickson, who said the levy was part of the measures to protect the future of education in the state, insisted that anybody opposed to the tax would be considered as an enemy of the state.

The governor said to drive the process, his administration had set up an Education Development Trust Fund, rationalising that the fund would guarantee the sustainability of the policies and programmes that the government had put in the education sector.

Dickson said, ”From now on, funds will be pumped into the EDTF account to support the free feeding, free uniforms and other items of the students. And it will take little contributions from every Bayelsan; some will pay as little as N400,

N500 per month. There are others that will have to pay N1,000 or more depending on their business.

”For those in the public service, they will also contribute. It is better for us to put resources to fund mass education. Yes, in this state, you have some educated people but the judgment I have made over time is that we have yet to get that critical mass of highly skilled and qualified professionals and unless we have those, the state will be in trouble.

”This is the problem we have and we must address it together. So, this education trust fund is not going to be contributed by only those in the public service. I have set up a committee and we in government will pay the highest.

”The governor of the state will pay more. My own contribution every month is N100,000, the deputy governor’s contribution is N50,000, the Speaker of the House will contribute N30,000, the Chief Judge will pay N25,000 , the commisssioners, Assembly members, senior special advisers, special advisers and senior special assistants will pay.

”This is a compulsory levy. The future of this state has to be protected and this is a levy everybody must contribute. All those doing business in this state will have to pay particular percentage as education levy.

”Everybody doing government’s contract from now on has to pay tax. I have directed that a minimum of five per cent of the IGR of the state will also go into that fund


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