The Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, has assured management of the University of Benin (UNIBEN) that his administration will ensure the university community benefits from the ongoing dualisation of Ekehuan Road project as well as the Ossiomo Independent Power Plant project.
Obaseki gave the assurance during a courtesy visit by the management of UNIBEN. led by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Lilian Salami, at Government House in Benin City, on Monday.
He said, “I am a governor of everybody and everything in the state including UNIBEN. We look forward to collaborating more with you. We are working on the Ekehuan Road project which is now going to make the Ekehuan Campus of the university accessible. We are happy we have UNIBEN in our state particularly in Benin City. It will not be fair for a government that emphasizes education not to take advantage of the very fact that the institution resides in our territory. We are happy we have UNIBEN, we know how much it has contributed to the educational and social development of our state over the last four decades.”
According to him, “It doesn’t matter if it is ours, but for the fact that the university is located here in our state, it gives us a responsibility to make sure we make it part of our existence.”
“We are working very hard to connect 50 megawatts of electricity from Ossiomo Power Plant to the Government Science and Technical College and some of the power will be extended to UNIBEN so that you can have an uninterrupted power supply. I am making the whole axis an Integrated Science and Technology Hub with a Data Centre.”
Responding to the requests made by the Vice-Chancellor, Obaseki said the state government has awarded repairs of the road network in the institution, adding, “We will mandate the Edo 2020 National Sports Festival (NSF) contractor in charge of the hostel renovation to go back to the site. We are beneficiaries of the Federal Fire Service; I am going to make a case for you.
“I’m also going to talk to some of our corporate organisations who are operating here to see if we can support the university with fire trucks, but we are hoping to create a fire service centre that people can call when there is a fire outbreak. We have been talking with the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) to create an ambulance service for the citizens in the state, where you can call an ambulance when the need arises.”
Earlier, Prof. Salami congratulated Governor Obaseki on his victory in the September 19 governorship election in the state and assured him of the institution’s readiness to support the administration, adding, “The victory at the poll has actually told a lot about our performing governor. We are sure you will even perform more in your second tenure. We are proud of you. We hope and pray that in good health, you will continue the good work you have started.”
She intimated her host that, “The Federal Ministry of Education has asked universities to come up with a process for the resumption and we had picked October 24 as our tentative date for resumption. The institution has resolved in taking the final year students and professional programmes because of COVID-19.”
She commended the governor for his massive renovation of the hostels in UNIBEN ahead of the 2020 National Sports Festival (NSF).