Just about a month to handing over of power to Emeka Ihedioha of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Imo State governor, Rochas Okorocha, has set up six new universities in the state.
Apparently aware that some of his critics will accuse him of doing that to hurt the incoming government; the governor claimed his newly created higher institutions, four polytechnics and two colleges of education, was not a trap for the incoming government.
Okorocha made this explanation on Wednesday when he spoke with newsmen at Government House, Owerri.
The governor had also at the event, inaugurated a team headed by Professor Chima Iwuchukwu, mandating it to pursue the take-off of the higher institutions in the next two weeks by getting the approval from the National Universities Commission (NUC).
Assuring he will guarantee a hitch-free transition, he said, “I am still the governor till May 29. It is not what anybody should be afraid of. It will be done according to the constitution.”
The governor said part of the plan of his government remains to engage investors in the education sector under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) as backed by the law established by the Imo State House of Assembly.
According to him, investors in the education sector are going to partner with the government to ensure that the standard is maintained in the new higher institutions.
“With these institutions put in place, the dreams of our people would have been achieved. Education will remain the industry of Imo State. What we plan was to lure investors into Imo State. They will come and invest in our institutions, under the Public Private Partnership, PPP, arrangement to assist us in the full take-off of the universities.
“For those of you who are conversant with the history of Imo State, education is one of the viable industries in the state.
“When I came into office in 2011, I told IMO people that my top priority is education and I want to tell you that we have done a lot in this area.
“We have created six new universities, four polytechnics and two colleges of education. By the time they take off, this will accommodate thousands of our children who go outside the state in search of admission and in most cases, they do not get it. Now, the opportunity is here for them to take advantage of.
“We have set up a team headed by Professor Iwuchukwu. They have two weeks to meet with the NUC to get the approval for the tertiary institutions,” he said.
A recent video on social medial had accused the Okorocha government of looting Imo State properties ahead of the hand over to new government on May 29.