Oshiomhole inaugurates eight projects at AAU

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Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State has inaugurated a 500-capacity lecture theatre, a Moot-Court building abandoned since 1991 and six other projects funded by the government at the state-owned Ambrose Alli University (AAU), Ekpoma.

Governor Oshiomhole
Governor Oshiomhole

The other projects are: Workshop Building for Building Department and Studio for Fine and Applied Arts; Furnishing of the Moot Court in the Faculty of Law; 2-in-1 Laboratory Block for the Department of Medical Laboratory Science; Furnishing of the 2-in-1 Laboratory Block for the Department of Medical Laboratory Science; Library Building in the Faculty of Basic Medical Science and Department Building for the Department of Agriculture Economics, Emaudo Annex.

Speaking at the occasion, Oshiomhole said: “I am happy to be here to commission a number of projects that this university has been able to put in place from the N500 million that we approved for the university to embark on a number of projects.

“I have always said that my own attitude is influenced by what I see and whoever has shown capacity deserves to be encouraged. The first time, we gave the university about N250 million and later I was invited to come and commission a number of projects. When I looked at what I saw in relation to what I provided, it is clear that the university is under good management. My immediate decision there and then was that rather than do XYZ, we rather give the university the money for them to do their thing.

“I have been looking at the quality of construction from outside and I believe that you have again performed a miracle for being able to deliver so many projects, not elephant projects, not projects that are designed to ensure the comfort of the VC or the Council but have been used to ensure that additional facilities for learning are provided.

“It reinforces my confidence in your leadership abilities. It reinforces my trust in the leadership of the Vice Chancellor and all of those who are involved in making decisions on how to spend and what to spend money on.

Oshiomhole said, “Your request for a 200-room hostel is not a luxury and we will look for the money, the council will design the accommodation themselves.

“When I promised that I would like to see how you managed the money and I said if you managed it well, we will do more, I didn’t quite say I would double it. That time by 2013, the economy was a lot better. The resources were not too high but we were coping, but now as we speak, most state governments are under bailout and you have heard some of them say they would stop paying the minimum wage.

“But I have said that will not be my portion. In Edo State, we will not only pay the minimum wage, we will pay all wages because I believe that the day I cannot pay salaries, it is time to resign. My task is cut out clearly from the beginning and we have to find the courage to take from those who have and give to those who don’t have. We will look at those who have and collect taxes from them so that we can provide for those who do not have including students.

“Having now already committed myself to build a 200-room student hostel block, we will try to raise another N600 million in installments. We will hand it over to your management and use it to address any of the needs of the university in the area of infrastructure.

“People will wonder where this money will come from. The money will have to come from Edo State. It will come from Land Use Charge.”

He challenged students across the state to read the appropriate literature and revisit the basic civics to avoid being misled and urged the university to take a second look at their curriculum “because a lot of our students are not getting what I call, ‘a balanced education’.”

Oshiomole said: “Now, I am saddened when anyone masquerades as students purportedly to join civil societies, to support individuals who have acquired wealth in questionable circumstances and they say, don’t tell them to pay for Land Use Charge. If they don’t pay, how do you want your school to be maintained?”

In a remark, the Pro-Chancellor of the University, His Royal Highness, Prof Gregory Akenzua expressed joy at government’s intervention in the completion of the projects.

The Vice Chancellor, Prof Cordelia Agbebaku said: “All these go to confirm the avowed commitment of the people’s governor to the growth and development of the university. I must also add that just recently, towards the accreditation exercise in this university, the state government supported the university with the sum of N100 million. This amount assisted the university greatly in handling the accreditation exercise. We cannot thank the governor and the state government enough for this.”

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