Less than six weeks to the end of his eight years’ administration, Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha yesterday said his administration would among other things, handover six universities, four Polytechnics and two Colleges of Education built to the incoming administration on 29th May, 2019.
Okorocha explained that the building of the institutions of learning became necessary to take care of Imo indigenes and other Nigerians, who were yearly being denied admission as a result of limited spaces in Imo State University and the issue of catchment area in other universities across the country.
The governor told journalists at a press conference at the Government House, Owerri yesterday that only a small percentage of Imo indigenes who sought university admission yearly succeeded due to lack of space, hence, the new universities would solve such problem once and for all.
Okorocha said: “Let me inform you that in 2012 Imo State had the highest number of university application with 183,865 candidates applying for JAMB, with the second being Delta State with 88,876 applications. In 2013, the state had 134,610 applications with Delta also coming second with 101,610. In 2014, the state had 104,382, and Delta state 87,153 to maintain the second position. In 2015, the State had 111,066 and Delta State had 78,856.
“In 2016, Imo had 103,122 applications and Osun state was second with 88,655 applications. In 2017, the State had 101,868 applications while Oyo state came second with 86,695 applications. In 2018, Imo had 92,890 while Oyo which came second had 86,695. And if you add that of 2019 we have almost one million JAMB applicants from Imo State hungry for University education. And you may find out that less than ten per cent of this number only secures admission while the rest would continue to wait.
“Imo State University is currently over-burdened and the establishment of these Universities will help in no small way in giving admission to Imo sons and daughters and other Nigerians wishing to seek admission in Imo State Universities.
“We have agreed that Imo State University is free for all Imo indigenes. But for the new Universities they are Public Private Partnership (PPP) driven.
“We have to source for funds through various means like payment of fees to sustain them. What government has done is to provide the infrastructure and buildings to set up the universities while the major partners will see to the day to day running of the institutions. They will charge fees to run the institutions. In this case the private sector will agree with the government but all we want is for us to have a functional University education to care for our children.”