By Chris Chimezie
Last week, to a large extent, appeared to be one of those being anxiously anticipated by civil servants in Ondo State, as they screamed with immense joy, following Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu’s approval for workers’ promotion.
The Governor gave the directive to the state Head of Service, Barr Toyin Akinkuotu, during the swearing-in ceremony of newly appointed 15 Permanent Secretaries and one Tutor-General.
At the colorful ceremony held at the International Culture and Event Centre (The Dome) in Akure, Arakunrin posited that no worker under his watch would be denied promotion and other merited privileges.
He said the newly-appointed Permanent Secretaries were elevated based on merit, contrary to vile insinuations and snide comments ignorantly made since the announcement of the names of the beneficiaries.
“The criteria set for the appointments were seniority, efficiency and equity. We are not unaware of the legitimate aspiration of some officers where there are no vacancies.
“It will therefore, be unfair to force any serving officer out of service, prematurely, because of the ambition of certain persons.
“If this was the practice in the past, this administration has no apology to offer to anyone for treading the path of equity and justice.”
Akeredolu urged the new appointees to use their position to redirect the warped thinking which holds that government’s business is a veritable platform to accumulate wealth.
“You must encourage and recommend, for reward, virtuous deeds of dedicated subordinates. You must avoid pettiness in dealing with them.
He warned that the full weight of the law would descend on any errant person whose activities stand at variance with our set goals for the service of the people.
The week under check was also a historical one in the life of Arakunrin Akeredolu as he was in far away Igbinedion University, Okada, conferred with the Honorary Doctor of Law by the institution.
At the ceremony, which was the 15th Convocation ceremony of the University in Edo State, Arakunrin Akeredolu noted that a university must not only be the physical structure complemented by a beautiful environment.
He applauded the courage of the founder, Sir Gabriel Igbinedion for his great dream and the deep interest conceived as an idea, sustained through sheer doggedness, and nurtured to the level of an institution truly worthy both in name and deed.
The Governor who said there appeared to be an increasing disconnect between the curricula adopted for the training of citizens and the current realities, urged institutions of higher learning to brace up to the challenges of real development.
“Were it not so, we would not be confronted with the inexplicable situation which ensures that millions of our young men and women remain unemployed in a developing economy which should, ordinarily, absorb all available trained hands.
Arakunrin Akeredolu categorically stated that unless the issue of education was taken seriously, the quest for development would not only be unrealizable but, regrettably laughable.
He suggested that the character of the curricula of education must be such that address basic challenges of existence in any given environment.
“While it is important for government, at all levels, to concentrate on the education of citizens, our academics must descend from the Ivory Tower to interact with the society with a view to coming to terms with reality.
“There can be no substitute for good education if a society is truly desirous of joining the rest of the civilized world, then it is patently unrealistic to expect a benevolent phantom called government to provide everything.
“Our country should be able to depend, mainly, on the expertise of those whose trainings have gobbled huge investments from the commonwealth, to abridge the wide gap in infrastructural deficit.
“At this stage, considering where we were, especially in this part of the country during the First Republic, we should be far less dependent on other nations of the world for basic means of sustenance”, he said.
He however, assured of his administration’s commitment to continually prioritize education of its citizens.