- Category: Education
- Published on Saturday, 05 February 2011 10:49
- Written by Admin
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About N3 billion was yesterday raised at a fund raising ceremony in Bayelsa State as take off funds, for the just-approved federal university in Otuoke area of the state.
According to President Goodluck Jonathan, government’s decision to site the Federal University in Otuoke and the eight others approved recently in rural areas, was borne out of the need to boost development.
Otuoke University is one of the nine approved by the Federal Executive Council to be located in states that did not have federal universities in their domains across the six geo-political zones of the country.
President Jonathan, while speaking at the occasion said: “We decided to locate almost all these nine universities in the rural areas. We don’t want to locate these universities in the cities. In most countries, universities are located in rural areas to stimulate growth and development.
“If you create a university environment with commercial activities and maybe in another four years you come back to the same community, it will look better than this”.
He stressed the need for making education accessible to all citizens, saying that it was the only sure way of empowering them and securing their future.
Jonathan pointed out that the current rate of unemployment in the country was not an excuse for government as well as individuals to relent in their pursuit and development of education, noting that it was easier to brainwash youths who were not educated.
He said:“Economic development in any nation that is not built on a very strong educational foundation is like building a castle on a sand dune. You cannot talk of economic development without educated minds.
“It is unfortunate that we have quite a number of unemployed graduates. It is better have unemployed graduates than to have unemployed illiterates”.
The president, who expressed gratitude to donors at the fund raising, went down memory lane as he recounted the efforts his native Otuoke community had made in the past to have a complete primary school.
Urging corporate bodies and individuals not to limit their support for the institutions to only cash, Jonathan said they should feel free to develop any infrastructure in the universities and name it after any person of their choice.
On his part, Vice President Namadi Sambo commended Preident Jonathan for prioritizing education as one of his administration’s strategies to transform the country.
Govervor of Bayelsa state, Timipre Sylva, who donated one billion naira on behalf of the state government, said a joint committee would be set up to ensure judicious use of the money raised.
Dignitaries at the occasion included business moguls, corporate organizations politicians and government functionaries.