The Edo state chapter of the main opposition party, the PDP, has questioned the justification for budgeting over N900m (Nine Hundred Million Naira) for Edo University Iyamoh, said to be jointly owned by the state government and Afri Invest, a company the state governor, Godwin Obaseki is said be having vested interest.
In a press release signed by the State Publicity Secretary of the PDP, Chris Nosa Nehikhare, the Peoples Democratic Party is asking how the state government under the leadership of Obaseki could be budgeting such an alarming amount for an almost a privately owned University which charges over N600,000 as school fees and nothing for a government owned Ambrose Alli University Ekpoma, that its school fees is relatively free compared to what is obtainable at the Iyamoh University.
According the statement, “Afri Invest has no track record of even managing a nursery school and it is clear it got the partnership deal as the then chairman of the the economic team, now governor, was the MD of Afri Invest”.
In a telephone chat with Olika Reporters Friday evening, Mr. Nehikhare asserted that the arrangement between Edo state and Afri Invest as far as that institution was concerned, was on a PPP plan, “at least, that was what Obaseki told Edo state people, but as we speak, there is no record anywhere of how much Afri Invest has paid as its own contribution, rather it has been the state that is providing funds and everything”.
The Edo State PDP SPS told Olika Reporters from his base in Benin City that the state owned University at Ekpoma has been completely abandoned and all attention turned to the “Obaseki/Oshiomole university”.
Read full text of the press statement below;
January 5, 2018
2018 Budget: University infrastructural funding: Edo University, Iyamoh Vs Tayo Akpata University, EkiadolorThe opposition is alarmed that N900m was budgeted for infrastructure in Iyamoh University… a PPP arrangement between EDSG and Afri Invest.
Till date we have no evidence of cash injection from Afri Invest or any form of contribution or support.
We are alarmed that there is a serious conflict of interest and breach of trust in this transaction.
Afri Invest has no track record of even managing a nursery school and it is clear it got the partnership deal as the then chairman of the the economic team, now governor, was the MD of Afri Invest.
Hence the haste to use state resources to fund the building of infrastructure for his business concern.
Even more worrying is the fact that Tayo Akpata University was conceptualized same day as Iyamoh University.
Tayo Akpata University had some physical structure at inception while Iyamoh was bare land. Iyamoh has started admissions, Tayo Akpata cannot even talk about lecture halls talkless of admission. Iyamoh we were told is for the rich.
It charges up to N600,000 per semester in some courses. It’s obvious it’s a business transaction our children were not factored into. We should all agree that Tayo Akpata University was a Greek gift used to pacify a section of the state.
If the leadership of that section of the state gave the impression that they have fallen for the trick, Governor Obaseki should be aware that the generation next to that leadership cannot be cowed and will speak up and ask questions.
We want to know how much in the 2017 and 2018 budget was allocated and released for the building of infrastructure in Tayo Akpata University?
Is Tayo Akpata University just a campaign project, a Greek gift? We feel short changed and decieved when we compare the progress at Iyamoh to the lack of progress at Tayo Akpata University.
We feel the 2018 budget is a budget of deception, padding and inequality!
Edo people’s welfare is our driving spirit.
PDP… Listening to the cries of Edo People!
Chris Osa Nehikhare
SPS PDP EDO STATE