By Nma Shekwolo
The Niger State governor, Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu has warned the acting minister of education, Nyeson Wike not to interfere with the affairs of the state.
Aliyu, who said this while signing into law the state University of Education Bill at Government House, Minna, was reacting to some uncomplimentary remarks allegedly made by Wike on the state of the education sector in Niger state.
“I don’t know when he got into education. Education is not for riff raffs. Wike should be warned to stay clear of Niger state. If he (Wike) can fight the governor of his state (Rivers) he cannot fight other governors. He should take his time,” the governor warned.
While endorsing the bill to become law, Aliyu lamented that most states in the region could not boast of 50 per cent qualified teachers to man primary schools.
He said the University of Education in Minna will attempt to bridge that gap, as it will provide avenue for the training of teachers not only for primary and secondary schools in the state but for the entire northern Nigeria where there is presently no such institution.
He said the dearth of qualified teachers in all the states in the northern part of the country informed the setting up of the specialised university.
Aliyu said when the university becomes operational government will set deadline for unqualified teachers in her employment to be certified.
In his remarks the Speaker of the Niger state House of Assembly, Adamu Usman, said between 2007 and this 2013, the chamber had passed 30 bills, adding that the laws have impacted positively on the lives of people in the state.
Usman added that the Bill on the University of Education mandates the government to set aside at least 2 per cent of its budget for the funding of the university.
He assured that the establishment of a new university will not affect the Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University at Lapai which is also owned by the state government.
Two other bills – the Vision 3:2020 Law and the Pilgrims Welfare Commission Bill – were also signed into law.
The Vision 3:2020 law legalised the state Vision 3:2020 programme introduced by the administration in 2007 while the amendment to the Pilgrims Welfare Commission law would give executive powers to the chairman of the commission.