Despite failure of state tertiary institutions, Edo to establish new university

Godwin Obaseki

The Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki said he has signed a deal with a company in Malaysia for the establishment of a University of Innovation in Benin City, the Edo State capital.

Obaseki, who is also the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party in the gubernatorial election in the state, disclosed this to journalists in Benin City.

He said the Memorandum of Understanding was part of his administration’s efforts to bring more development into the state, boost the state’s economy and better the lives of Edo people.

Details of the said MoU was not revealed beyond the hint the governor gave.

In his words, “As I speak to you today, I have signed an MoU with a company in Malaysia to bring a University of Innovation to Benin City. We are in discussion with one of the best schools in Malaysia and we have signed an MoU with them.”

It is not immediately clear when the school would take off and whether it would be solely run and funded by the state.

But the new announcement contradicts an earlier one from the governor who recently said that the government lacked funds to manage more universities.

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This development is coming at a time when two of the state-owned tertiary institutions have not had a stable academic calendar in over two years.

In 2016, the Edo State College of Education was converted into the Tayo Akpata University of Education by former Governor Adams Oshiomhole just as the law establishing it was passed into law by the Edo State House of Assembly the same day with that of the University.

The government also runs the Ambrose Ali University, Ekpoma.

Initially, the education university supposedly took off at the site of college in Ekiadolor while construction was ongoing in Iyamho.

But since Obaseki came into office months later, neither the college nor the university had ran smoothly.

Staff members of the teacher training institution had particularly complained of being owed salaries and had downed tools for months thereby hampering the academic programmes of students.

A recent move by the Obaseki-led government to take charge of the situation was the proposed conversion of the Iyamho university site into use for one of the six Federal Colleges of Education approved by President Muhammadu Buhari.

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Obaseki in May said the move will boost training of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) teachers in the state.

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