Fubara deplores the sorry state of Primary Schools/healthcare, vows to tackle them

 Governor Siminalayi Fubara of Rivers State shaking hands with, ex-militant Asari Dokubo, a devout Muslim among the Muslim Ummah delegation to Government House.

* Only two hospitals are functioning in the state – Fubara 

*As Muslim Ummah pays Salah visit 

Okafor Ofiebor/ Port Harcourt

Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has deplored the stark reality of having 75 percent of primary schools in the State without teachers and 90 percent of such schools in dilapidated condition as very troubling.

The Governor said this when he received a delegation of leaders of the Muslim community in the State on Eid-el-Fitr Sallah visit to Government House, Port Harcourt on Wednesday.

He explained that he became aware of the deplorable state of the primary schools when a firm, New Global, in its bid to partner with his Administration to enhance the capacity of teachers, performed field assessments of such personnel that they intend to train.

But Governor Fubara said the report from the field was very disappointing because the firm did not find the number of trained teachers which should have benefitted Rivers children tremendously.

The Governor emphasized the crucial place that primary school occupies in the educational journey of any child in shaping the character, instilling essential skills, and fostering the quest for learning, which, obviously had been ignored in the past.

Governor Fubara, however, assured that his Administration, having its focus firmly on the Education, Health, and Agriculture sectors, will ensure a change in what has been identified.

“It will surprise you to note that an agency came to Rivers State. They called them ‘New Global’, and they were willing to spend $ 5 million. It is not for infrastructure but to train our teachers, to provide software and other things to improve the learning process at the primary level.

“I told them to go round and assess the primary schools in the state. After their assessment, you won’t believe that 75 percent of our primary schools have no Teachers. 90 percent of the schools are dilapidated”, he said.

Governor Fubara said further: “So, how will you now put in the $ 5 million? So, when I say education, I mean education. It’s not education where we renovate schools, and call people for commissioning.

“We are talking about touching what is important, because, for us to develop as a society, for us to get it right from the foundation, it is at the primary school level.

“If we don’t have that aspect right as a foundation to preparing our youths as the leaders of tomorrow, then, we have lost it,” he added.

The Governor also noted that the tertiary health institutions in the State are overstretched because the primary and secondary health facilities are not functional.

Governor Fubara stated that in the coming days, the five zonal hospitals will be revisited so that they can become operational to expand the healthcare services available to the people.

“The only health facilities that are functional in this State are the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital (RSUTH), and maybe, the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH).

“The other aspects of the healthcare system that should be functioning are primary and secondary healthcare. We have to do everything that is within our power to make sure that they function.

“Now, you see, there is so much pressure because the primary healthcare centers have a limit on what they can attend to. So, the pressure is always with the tertiary institutions, what you call the teaching hospitals.”

Governor Fubara reassured that: “We have already taken it upon ourselves, by the special grace of God, in the next one or two weeks, we are going to make sure that we revisit the five zonal hospitals in the state to make sure that they function.

“Now, when they function, they will give support to the primary healthcare centers. A lot of people die because of minor illnesses and unavailability of health centers, that are not well-equipped with qualified personnel. So, we know it is important.

“It might not be something people are seeing, but those are the key things to development and the things that people need, and to prove that, yes, we have a functional government,” he said.

In the agriculture sector, Governor Fubara said there is already so much work ongoing to revamp some agricultural facilities and make the sector attractive to guarantee food sufficiency and create employment for the youths.

He said, “You already know what we are doing and what we are trying to do in the aspect of agriculture. God being on our side, it will work and work well for everyone of us”.

On reviving moribund State-owned industries, the Governor said, “We know that the only way we can combat crime is by providing employment. I don’t think any criminal feels happy while enjoying his money. This is because he does so in hiding. He does it with fear.

“When you have a legitimate means of livelihood, even if it’s N10,000 that you are making, you enjoy it happily without fear. I know a lot of people want that.

“We will visit those areas to see what we can get out of it so that employment will be, at least, more for those our unemployed youths who by having nothing to do, end up resorting to crime as the only way out.”

While acknowledging their successful completion of the Ramadan fasting, Governor Fubara thanked the Muslim community for their prayers and support of his Administration.

Governor Fubara noted with delight their efforts at coordinating, mediating, and ensuring a reduction to the minimum incidences of farmers-herders clashes in the State.

He assured that his Administration will continue to create an enabling environment for them to practice their faith and other endeavors that positively impact the development of the State while promoting peace.

In his address, the leader of the delegation and Vice President-General, of Rivers State Council for Islamic Affairs, Alhaji Nasir Awhelebe Uhor, thanked Governor Fubara for his financial support that enabled them to participate in Hajj last year and his inclusive policy that gave the community a sense of belonging.

Alhaji Uhor, who assured that the Muslim community will not relent in partnering with the Governor and his Government, emphasized that they were solidly behind him, and approved of his people-oriented policies and programs.

He, in strong terms, also condemned the activities of those who want to truncate the Administration with impeachment threats on the Governor and persecution of his Chief of Staff, Dr Edison Ehie.