The Bayelsa State Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson on Friday presented a cheque of N100 million as take off grant to the State Education Development Trust Fund Board.
The gesture was part of efforts to sustain the policies and programmes in the education sector.
Dickson, who presented the cheque during the inauguration of a 14-member board in Government House, Yenagoa, said 5% of the state’s IGR would be made available to the board on a monthly basis.
He called on Bayelsans and the private sector to support the trust fund, but however, explained that contributions from the workers and other donors would not in any way, preclude the State Ministry of Education from funding education.
While giving the members of the board a free hand to manage the affairs of the board, he also charged them to publish their income and expenditure profile on regular basis to promote accountability and build confidence in members of the public.
While highlighting the primacy of education in the development of any society, Governor Dickson said, the trust fund was instituted to safeguard the present administration’s educational programmes, such as the free secondary school boarding system.
According to him, the law establishing the board empowers it to assess and levy every Bayelsan and corporate organization in a fair manner and urged the international oil companies to contribute a particular percentage of their corporate social responsibility budget to the fund.
Chairman of the Education Development Trust Fund, Prof Turner Isoun, commended Governor Dickson for mustering the political will to initiate and execute the programme, which he noted, would enhance capacity building and self-reliance in Bayelsa students.
Isoun, who assured that the financial records of the board would be made available for forensic audit regularly, requested for special allocation for research purposes, skills acquisition and development of science, technology and mathematics.
Dr. Mrs. Alice Atuwo is the Secretary of the board, while Prof. Francis Sikoki, Chief G. M. Odumgba, Chief Fidelis Agbiki, Mr. Tobias James, Mrs. Funkazi Koroye-Crooks and Chief Noah Kikile are members.
Other members are, chairman of the State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Mr. John Angese, Barr. Stanley Damabide, Engr, Dienagha Ayibaesin, Omieh Feremonde-Cadbury, Abah Dressman and Fred Kemedei.