The wife of Edo State Governor, Betsy Obaseki, has urged Nigerians to join both the Federal and state governments in providing amenities meant to uplift rural people and development in communities.
Obaseki made the call on Thursday while inaugurating an ultra-modern school complex built at the 84-year-old Central Primary School, Obioma in the Udi Local Government Area of Enugu State at the cost of N100 million.
It would be recalled that an illustrious son of the Obioma community, Prince Ike Chioke, Group Managing Director, Afrinvest West Africa, built the ultra-modern school complex, provided modern gadgets and made provision for retraining of the school’s teachers.
The governor’s wife said that it was becoming increasingly difficult for the government alone to provide all the amenities and infrastructural needs of various communities; hence, the need for individuals and members of communities to contribute.
Obaseki also reminded wealthy individuals of the need to give back to society and their communities as well as ensure that future leaders are raised to take over from them shortly.
She said: “I must commend Prince Ike Chioke for his love and outstanding investment in his immediate community notwithstanding his schooling abroad and working in Lagos.
“I wish every other blessed and well to do Nigerian should emulate his shining example of being attuned and of great benefit to one’s community and seeking ways to better their human capital development and social amenities”.
Speaking, the auxiliary Bishop of Enugu Catholic Diocese, Most Reverend Ernest Obodo, lauded the philanthropic gesture of Chioke, adding that he had lifted a burden from the people of the Obioma community.
Obodo said: “The former state and dilapidation of the school was a serious source of concern to all and thank God for using Chioke to remove this burden and shame from us”.
The head-teacher of the primary school, Regina Aneke, said that the previous dilapidated structure of the school made it look like a rejected school; but from Sept. 14 when the building of the new complex started, a bright future exists here.
“God will continue to bless Chioke even to his fourth generation. He had compassion on us and our children in this school and took away our shame,” Aneke said.
A pupil of the school, Master Nonso Okafor, thanked Chioke, the Catholic Church and Obioma community for making his school “the best” and most modern primary school with the state-of-the-art environment and learning materials.
Earlier, Chioke, said that he met the school about six months ago in total dilapidation, adding that I was wondering how a child could learn anything meaningful in such an unconducive environment.
He said that the project would greatly improve the learning condition of pupils in the Obioma community, Abia, other neighbouring communities, noting that it would serve as a standard model for new primary schools in Enugu State.
“With the continuous decline in the quality of education and human capital development in the country, I decided to deliver learning materials to support pupils and sponsor skill acquisition programmes for youths and women in my hometown of Obioma.
“My life view is that you cannot enlighten people without educating and empowering them to be able to stand on their own, and the most important part of that education starts at the primary level.
“Once kids (pupils) can get a decent education at the primary school level, then it is easier. And by the time they get to secondary school, they already have an idea of what they want to go into, whether vocational or skills acquisition.
“Also equipping kids starting from primary school would make them compete in all forms of modern learning with pupils in Ikoyi, Lagos etc. They can write and develop ICT programmes in Obioma here and make their money,” he said.
The school complex with eight classrooms is designed to take between 35 and 40 pupils per classroom, having ceiling fans, light fittings, electrical teaching boards and a computer centre, to be equipped with 30 computer sets, accessories and internet wifi.
It also has a library designed to sit 56 pupils, a clinic, a conference hall, a staff room, a head-teacher’s office and water system conveniences.
There are plans to provide solar power to run the day-to-day activities of the school and light up its new perimeter fence at night as well as plans to put in place playground facilities for the kindergarten section.