Home » Anambra, Articles, Columnists, Emeka Chiakwelu, NNP Columnists, State News » Gov. Peter Obi: Good Policy on Handing Over 1,040 Schools to Original Owners – By Emeka Chiakwelu

Gov. Peter Obi: Good Policy on Handing Over 1,040 Schools to Original Owners – By Emeka Chiakwelu

By Emeka Chiakwelu, NNP- Jan. 6, 2012 – Governor Obi of Anambra State and his administration deserves unequivocal
applaud on transferring 1,040 schools back to the original owners. It is
important to highlight such an important and affirmative move by Obi’s
administration to show that we are all committed to the truth and a better
Anambra state. When the government of Governor Obi misplaced his steps in
governance, it should not be neglected or left un-criticized.  But at same
time when he put up a sound policy he should also be acknowledged and
commended.  All of us who cares for Anambra’s development and wellbeing
must be consistent and committed to truth and justice. And we will not
hesitate to call it the way we saw it and let the chips fall where they
may. This time around Governor Peter Obi got it right.

The constructive criticism of the government of Obi cannot be perceived
by his administration as bitterness towards the governor. When mishaps,
bad policy and poor workings of the government are shaded from the light
of the day everyone becomes complicit to the process. And that is not
healthy for the emerging democracy in the state and in Nigeria. That is
why it is necessary to give kudos to the governor on his recent move to
restore the schools to the original owners.

Vanguard newspaper reported that, “The N6 billion will be shared among
the Catholic Church, Anglican Church and remaining government schools in
four installments. In the first installment, the Catholic Church, which
owns a lion’s share of 453 schools, will receive over N762 milion, while
its Anglican counterpart will get over N498 million. The remaining public
schools not taken from the churches will share over N489 million out of a
total of N1.75 billion. The second and third installments will gulp N1.25
billion each, while the fourth and last installment will cost the
government N1.75 billion.”

Majority of the schools were owned by religious institutions notably the
Catholic and Anglican Churches. The remaining schools were owned by
non-profit organization and private organizations. At the end of Nigerian
civil war the then government of East Central State in the cloak of the
implementation of the Universal free Education took over schools owned by
private and religious institutions.

Since the takeover of the schools by the government the management was
below the standard benchmark. The high benchmark quality set by
Christian’s administration and management was relegated to poor quality
and poor results. The worst of the all is the emergence of social
breakdown and social ills epitomized by gangs, hazing, criminality and
nefarious activities. The former schools of notably high morality, decency
and uprightness later decomposed and metamorphosed to den of robbers,
prostitutions and moral delinquency.

As those schools became government owned the teaching and upholding of
Christian mores, values and customs were abandoned. The saturation of
student’s minds with worldly and mundane values subsequently brought the
total breakdown of the requisites values needed to sustain a decent and
law abiding societies. The government was not interested in improving the
moral integrity of the pupils and students and the large segment of the
student body became wayward and criminals. In religious settings the
study of Christology was richly emphasized that became the basis to build
an orderly society.

Comrade Micheal Alogba Olukoya, President of National Executive Council,
National Union of Teachers (NUT) criticized the handover and said: “It is
a parody and travesty of governance that as the world moves progressively
toward mass education through public funding, the Governor of Anambra
State is all out to returning education to elitist project, undeserving
for the children of the poor masses.” But that is not necessarily the
prevailing case.

It must be noted that Christian schools had a history of taking care of
the poor and will not abandon the children of poor masses but rather help
to direct them in better direction for a successful lives.

Also, there were naysayers and cynical individuals that believed Governor
Obi did not turn over the schools for benevolent reasons. They were
adamant that the Governor Obi could not pay the new lawful approved
minimum wages; therefore he transferred the responsibilities to the
private sector.

But in supposedly federal system of government, decentralization enables
the state government to make the best possible decisions without
interference from outside. Anambra state has decided to give back schools
to the original owners and that is their prerogative and that’s how
federalism works. The government has been in the control of these schools
for over forty years and has not improved the moral integrity and
wellbeing of the poor masses. Let’s give the private sector the chance to
try something new and creatively original that may have better answers to
the societal problems.

Governor Peter Obi turning over the schools is justifiable in a democratic
society that needs the growth and development of a strong private sector.
The reality is that he handed the schools to the original owners and he
deserved the kudos for his thoughtful act.

Emeka Chiakwelu is the Principal Policy Strategist at Afripol
Organization. Africa Political and Economic Strategic Center (Afripol) is
foremost a public policy center whose fundamental objective is to broaden
the parameters of public policy debates in Africa. To advocate, promote
and encourage free enterprise, democracy, sustainable green environment,
human rights, conflict resolutions, transparency and probity in Africa.
http://afripol.org/    strategist@afripol.org

Short URL: http://newnigerianpolitics.com/?p=16381

Posted by on Jan 6 2012. Filed under Anambra, Articles, Columnists, Emeka Chiakwelu, NNP Columnists, State News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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