(By Chris K.Amadi) – As the administration of Governor Nyesom Wike plan to spend over 448 billion Naira in the 2021 fiscal year, Rivers citizens who are concerned about the unfavourable learning environment in many primary and secondary schools in Port Harcourt and other parts of the state are demanding that the funds be channeled towards addressing the deplorable learning environement and cases of extremely poor facilities that are making the pupils to learn in tears.
According to them, such deliberate effort is required to save public schools from the rapid decline in the quality of learning and teaching, as well as the educational outcomes.
In this connection, many of the concerned citizens who spoke on Thursday on the state of schools in a radio programme in Port Harcourt, called on the governor to set up committees to visit schools in the state with a view to seeing for themselves their deplorable state and identifying their areas of need.
Recall that, on Wednesday, the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, presented a N448,660,773,476 billion Budget estimate for 2021 fiscal year to the Rivers State House of Assembly for consideration.
The proposed 2021 budget christened, ‘Budget of Recovery and Consolidation’, consists of N305, 894, 284.061 Capital Expenditure, and N142,776,489,415 recurrent expenditure.
Governor Wike said the sum of N82,957,295,248.81 is for the provision of infrastructure, including roads, bridges, and completion of flyover projects at Okoro-Nu-Odo, Rumuola, Rumuogba, and Port Harcourt GRA junction.
He further said: “We will also deliver the Ogoni – Andoni – Opobo unity road, the Eastern bypass dualization, 6th and 7th flyover projects and the Wakama road as well as all other ongoing rural roads in our communities and local government areas across the State.
Governor Wike administration plans to deploy the sum of N30,000,000,00 to the boost educational infrastructure, enhance access and retention rates and improve educational outcomes in our schools throughout the State.
The budget estimate also covers the completion of four zonal referral hospitals at Ahoada, Bori, Degema, Okehi and Omoku, which are all at advanced stages of completion.
Wike said the budget will be funded from Statutory Allocation, 13% Oil Mineral Fund, internally generated revenue, value added tax, refunds for federal projects and excess crude oil deductions, domestic and foreign credit as well as grants from our development partners.
In his response, the Speaker of Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Ikuinyi Ibani- Owaji, said the generations to come will live to acknowledge the good works of the governor, even as he assured that the lawmakers would diligently consider and pass the budget to facilitate the continued development of the state.