By George Odok
Calabar, Aug. 16, 2020 Gov. Ben Ayade of Cross River has commenced the construction of secondary school projects in riverine communities in the state with a view to provide standard environment for teaching and learning.
Ayade, who performed the foundation laying of a four modern classroom block with four standard toilets and a staff room for teachers in Obio Usiere community in Odukoani local government, said the objective was to provide basic education for residents in the area.
Ayade, who was represented at the event by Dr Inyang Asibong, Commissioner for International Development Cooperation, said his administration places premium on education which is the bedrock of any societal development.
“We are here for the foundation laying of the construction of four number classroom block and four VIP toilets in Obio usiere community in Odukpani local government area of Cross River.
“We know the value of education to the overall development of our future generation and in promoting this, we must first provide a comfortable and standard learning environment for the teachers and students.
“The administration of Gov. Ayade is concerned about education, rural water and sanitation, especially in the rural areas. We can see the efforts of the community in this project; even before we mobilised them, they had already started working,” he said.
At the town hall meeting with members of the community, the governor presented a cheque of N3 million to the Village Head of the community, Mr Ekpo Amatem, as part of the state government counterpart support to facilitate the completion of the project.
Speaking, the Acting General Manager of Cross River Community and Social Development Agency, Mr Fidel Undie, said the foundation laying ceremony signifies the importance the state government placed on rural transformation programmes.
“We are here to support the community in line with the mandate of our agency which involves supporting communities that request for assistance in the area of micro projects for rural development.
“The importance of education cannot be over emphasized. During this Covid-19 period, the community itself is also looking forward and preparing for adequate classrooms so as to have their children maintain social distance,” he said.
He commended the community for mobilising their counterpart fund for the project, assuring them of more government social and development projects in the area.
He charged the Village Head and the community to take ownership and ensure that the project is completed within the stipulated time for completion by the end of September.
Mr Toni Joe-Ikpeme, the Board Chairman of Cross River Community and Social Development Agency, said that the transformational agenda of Ayade was yielding results.
Joe-Ikpeme said that the foundation laying ceremony has given residents of the community the hope that the government was committed towards the execution of micro projects in rural communities across the state.
The Chairman of Obio Usiere Project Committee, Prince Charles Ekpo, who spoke on behalf of the community, commended the governor for the initiative and also appealed for more of such project to be brought to the community.