John ODHE, Yenagoa
The Permanent Secretary (PS), Ministry of Education in Bayelsa state, Mr Walton Liverpool said those clamouring for the merger of existing state owned tertiary institutions are enemies of the state.
The PS made the assertion while speaking to TNN against the background of clamours in some quarters for the possible merger of some of the newly established universities in the state so as to enable adequate funding of higher education in the state.
Liverpool noted that the establishment of two additional universities and one polytechnics by the out gone restoration government led by Seriake Dickson was in a right direction.
Describing Bayelsa as one of the academically disadvantaged states in the country, Liverpool, who is the immediate past Executive Secretary of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), said the establishment of more tertiary institutions only underscored the premium attached to education by the state government.
He expressed optimism that the present government led by Senator Douye Diri, which he described as a continuation of the restoration government, would not truncate the educational effort made by the previous administration which the present governor was part of.
He said “those calling for the merger of our universities are enemies of progress. The Medical University, Yenagoa, for instance, is a university of its own, having dealings with medical students only.
“The University of Africa, Toru-orua, is an institution of its own with so many faculties and departments. The two are not the same institutions to be merged. If anybody is calling for the schools to be merged, that person is an enemy of Bayelsa state.
“I don’t think the present administration is having that kind of idea. This present administration is a continuation of the former restoration government. So, it can’t do that kind of a thing. I don’t think anybody is muting that kind of idea in the present prosperity government.”
The PS, who was the pioneer executive secretary of SUBEB, said if given the opportunity to serve in the new administration, he would build on his achievements at SUBEB.
Liverpool highlighted some of his achievements as SUBEB’s executive scribe to include: construction of 450 headmasters’ quarters across the state, renovation of over 450 primary schools and construction of 50 new ones.
He added that as permanent secretary, he restored electricity and flow of water at the ministry of education which were non-functional before he was drafted to the ministry three months ago.