Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has flagged off school renovation programme worth N5.6 billion across the 23 Local Government Areas.
The numbers of public primary schools to be reconstructed and furnished are 175, which are currently in deplorable condition.
Performing the flag off ceremony at State Primary School in Port Harcourt City, Governor Wike said that his administration accessed Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC funds for the re-positioning of basic schools.
According to him, with the provision of the River State counterpart fund, government now has N5.6 billion to tackle infrastructural challenges of the schools.
“Imagine the condition of schools in the rural areas. It is not good for the world to see schools in bad condition such as these in Rivers State,” Wike remarked.
“We have set aside the funds for the reconstruction and furnishing of these schools. Therefore, funding would not be an issue. I have directed that payment should be done by milestone. The contractors should be paid based on the work they do. There should be nothing like variation,” he warned.
Wike reiterated his administration’s commitment to provide teachers and pupils with conducive learning environments.
According to him, “the reconstructed basic schools will have the facilities such as new furniture, sports equipment and facilities, Information and communication equipment, standby generator, boreholes, restrooms, head-teacher’s office, staff rooms, table-top fridges and many more”.
The Governor hinted that contracts for laboratory equipments and re-stocking of libraries in some selected secondary schools have been awarded.
The Chairman of Rivers State Universal Basic Education Board, Mr. Fyneface Akah said that the renovation of the schools was through the Nigerian Government’s Universal Basic Education Commission in collaboration with the State’s Basic Education Board 2014-2016 Intervention Projects.
He appealed to communities and local councils to collaborate with the State and federal government “to own and ensure security of school staff and facilities provided by government”.