By Nick Dugba
Taraba State Governor, Darius Ishaku has commissioned the new WAEC office and a utility vehicle in Jalingo, with a charge on Principals, teachers and students to sit up to their responsibilities so that the efforts wouldn’t be wasted.
The governor was at the commissioning of the new office of the examination body at the former Government Teachers College, Jalingo.
In his speech, Gov. Ishaku appreciated WAEC for “the good work and service delivery” in the state and that the government would continue to contribute to WAEC.
The governor then berated previous administrations for their careless criticisms warning them that if “they talked carelessly, he would reply them carelessly”.
He praised WAEC for keying into the “rescue agenda” saying education was the pivot of development and promised to do all it can to develop the education sector.
Earlier on in his speech, The Taraba state Commissioner of Education, Johannes Jigem, listed the achievements of the Ishaku administration to include: re-engineering the train the trainers workshop, distribution of instructional materials and 300 laptops to Taraba State University students, payment of exchange fees for students and WAEC fees for 225 students, release of matching grants to SUBEB,and the fact that Taraba moved from 48 percent performance to 67 percent in WAEC.
He, however, listed the challenges faced by the Ministry to include, lack of facilities by Agencies and Parastatals which affects their activities.
Also speaking, Head of WAEC National Office, stated that the Taraba office would be the 21st office in the country. Represented by Head of Test Administration, Frances Iweha Onuoha, the Head, thanked the governor for donating a parcel of land for the organisation and asked for the fencing of the permanent site to prevent encroachment.
The highlight of the occasion was the cutting of tape of the new office and the utility van.
Taraba state, has for the 25 years of its creation, been without a functional WAEC office and had to depend on the Yola office for official transactions not until this administration came on board when a new office was provided.
The Taraba State Ministry of Education in conjunction with the Education Resource Centre has donated sixty mattresses to two exchange schools in the state.
The Commissioner Of Education Mr Johannes Jigem while presenting the materials restated the State Government’s determination to re-position the education sector in the state.
It is an established fact that conducive learning atmosphere helps greatly in impacting positively to the educational standard of students.
With this in mind, the state ministry of education in collaboration with the Education Resource Centre, Jalingo donated sixty mattresses to the two exchange schools located in the state.
Presenting the materials to the beneficiaries today at the premises of the Education Resource Centre, the state commissioner of Education, Johannes Jigem said looking at the challenges faced by Marmara Government Girls Secondary school Wukari and its counterpart Government Comprehensive Secondary School, Jalingo, the ministry deemed it necessary to support them with the materials with a view to alleviating their sufferings as well as improve educational standard of the students.
Mr Johannes Jigem explained that education remains among top priorities of the Darius Dickson’s administration, calling on all stakeholders to contribute their quota towards the development of education in the state.
Earlier in his address of welcome, the Director Resource Centre Jalingo Mustafa Muhammad Buhari applauded the effort of the state government toward revamping the sector in the state despite the economic challenges being faced in the country.
He said the mattresses are meant to cushion the hardship faced by the students, calling on the beneficiaries to use the materials given for the purpose intended.
While appreciating the gesture, the principal Government Girls Secondary School Wukari, Mrs Hadiza Danasabe Amadu promised judicious utilisation of the materials, adding that the materials will go along way in alleviating the challenges faced by the students.
Taraba State Governor Arc. Darius Dickson Ishaku said Taraba state government does not owe civil servants in the state salaries.
Darius Ishaku stated this yesterday in Hyuku, Wukari during the commissioning ceremony of Rufkatu Asibi Kuru Danjuma library constructed by TY Danjuma in Kwararafa University Wukari, explaining that, he discovered Taraba state is a civil service state and it is imperative not to play with salary of the civil servants.
The State Governor maintained that, he never intended to go into borrowing to sustain the state but discovered that the only thing that keeps life going in Taraba state is the payment of workers salary and pointed out that he had to collect loan so as to meet up with obligation of salary payments in the state.
Speaking on Kwararafa University which is the first Community University in Nigeria, Darius Ishaku said when he was contacted to design the master plan of the University, to him it sounded ambitious and audacious but with a feeling of nostalgia, he did it free of charge , saying that he was confident it was going to improve on the quality and standard of education in the area.
He maintained that today the Kwararafa University has placed Wukari in a global map in terms of quality education, averring that education is a necessary prerequisite that is critical in the development of every society and added that, he has directed that immediate inventory of Government property in Wukari with a view to assisting the University.
Governor Darius Ishaku then donated the sum of two million Naira (2million) Naira in support of the Library project and task the Vice Chancellor to develop a roadmap that he would personally take the lead to motivate people of southern Taraba to contribute not only to the Library project but for the advancement of qualitative and conducive environment for learning.
Darius Ishaku said TY Danjuma is not only the patron of Kwararafa University, but the patron of Nigeria because of his unequalled philanthropic activities with special interest on Education and health and encouraged the gathering to emulate the attitude of the Retired General in selflessly giving back to the society and stated that, he is typical example of, “Action Speaks Louder than Words.”
The Taraba State Governor used the opportunity to appreciate the immediate past Chairman of Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFUND Professor Elias Suleiman Bogoro for the wonderful work he did as chairman of TETFUND which tertiary institution in State which included Federal University Wukari, State University Jalingo, Federal Polytechnic Bali, State Polytechnic Suntai and the State College of Education Zing benefited maximally and lamented that Kwararafa University could not benefit because of its scope which starts at Federal tertiary institutions and stops at states Government owed tertiary institutions.
He also informed the crowd of Taraba State Government renewed interest in the fields of Agriculture and Mining, positing that, Taraba State is naturally blessed in these two areas and there is the need to urgently diversify, with particular attention on tomatoes farming and the mining of solid minerals in the Mambila Plateau which he said will engaged the people productively.
In his usual few words, General Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma advised the VC and the entire management of Kwararafa University Wukari to be prudent in the management of resources at their disposal, saying that, the nation is passing through difficult times and challenged the management to do away with the culture of waste and look inward and invent ways that they can prudently manage funds at their disposal
TY Danjuma then donated additional sum of twenty million Naira (N20 million), with the instruction that the money is strictly for the Library and explained that the donation would be paid in two installments, the first installment is this week and the second, is subject to satisfying the said condition and would be subject to verification as to whether the money was spent as directed.
He said most books have now been converted into either audio or video format, hence the need to put in place a hi-tech digital Library for the institution and advised the management to effectively reposition the institution, positing that education is most potent tool in human development.
Speaking as the visitor to the University, the Aku-Uka of Wukari and Chairman Council of Chiefs Taraba State, Dr. Shekarau Angyu Masa Ibi Kuyvon II, appreciated TY Danjuma for what he has being doing to sustain the Kwararafa University, maintaining that he is always available to contribute to growth of education in southern Taraba.
Dr. Shekarau Angyu used the opportunity to call on all Taraban most especially people of southern Taraba to join hand with TY Danjuma to move Kwararafa University, which is a community Institution to greater heights and make it a pride of former Wukari Federation.
He emphasized the need for all to contribute positively for the advancement of knowledge in the region and posited that if all indigenes of southern Taraba will have the will to support Kwararafa University it will compete favourably with other tertiary institutions in the country.
In their collective speeches, the Pro Chancellor, Prof. Jerry Gana, the Chairman Governing Council, Dr. Idris Waziri and Dr. Danjuma Adi Gani, Chairman Board of Trustees, described TY Danjuma as unique and rare gem to Taraba state and asserted that the contribution of TY Danjuma to the Kwararafa University has earned it a recognition that the university is getting today.
They maintained that, though University is a knowledge center but the Library is the nerve the center, stressing that all educational activities revolves round the Library.
They revealed that Kwararafa University is among the top 200 Universities in the world with well equip Library, in books, audio and video and specially appealed to the Taraba state Governor to support the community University.
Speaking earlier, the Vice Chancellor of Kwararafa University, Prof. Yakubu Aboki Ochefu thanked TY Danjuma for his magnanimity and having confidence in him and which has translated into placing Kwararafa University in the global map with one of the most viable resource center in the country.
Prof. Yakubu Ochefu disclosed that when he took over as the VC and with the burning urge to transform and reposition Kwararafa University, coupled with the fact that, the institution failed to secure accreditation in many courses, took up the challenged and approached TY Danjuma who in his magnanimity assisted the University with the sum of 49.6 million which was used in the construction of a library and is now one of the most richest resource center in the country.
Accordingly, the Library which has a total floor of 317.5 square metres with seating capacity of about 300 was built at the cost of 34 million naira and a physical collections of over 10,000 books, journal and other publication, E-Library with access to over 1.5 million publications across globally recognized channels of both Audio and video.
Prof. Ochefu said the commissioning ceremony was to celebrate two major things, one is the conviction, that Education is prime mover of societies, secondly is the fact that, women see farther than men on the power of Education and a particular reference on how Mama Rufkatu stood firm to ensure that her son, young TY Danjuma was educated and added that, the entire world today celebrates him because of his mothers concern for Education.
He said the University unanimously agreed to name the Library after his Mother, with the consent of her son TY Danjuma, as Rufkatu Asibi Kuru Danjuma Library, asserting that the library will meet the educational requirements of the institution.
The VC lamented the institution is faced with the problem of poor accreditation and debt profile and solicited for support, revealing that the institution is set for another round of accreditation and the total money required is 170 million and quickly pointed out that the institution has already raised 70 million naira for the programmes and stressed that with more courses accredited, it would guarantee more admission and added that, presently, the University has 1006 students, 65 academic staff and 115 non teaching staff.
Yakubu Aboki Ochefu used the forum to appeal Taraba state Governor and other well to do individuals to support the effort being put in place to make Kwararafa University one of the best in the country.
High point of the event was the commissioning of the library with insignia of Rufkatu Asibi Kuru Danjuma Library as well as cultural displays.
The event was well attended by top Government Functionaries and dignitaries from other parts of the country.