By Adeola Oladele, Ibadan
The Japanese government through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) on Monday handed over completed school projects across Oyo State worth N2billion (1.3 Japanese Yen) to the Oyo State Government.
The Japanese government handed over the project to the state government at a ceremony held at St. Luke’s Demonstration School, Molete, Ibadan.
In his address at the event, Mr Hirotaka Nakamura, the Chief Representative, JICA, Nigeria Office, said the N2billion was expended on 231 classrooms, two staff rooms and 218 toilet booths spread across 30 existing schools in Oyo State.
“The completion of this project brings the total number of classrooms constructed in the education sector in Nigeria to 1, 038 classrooms and 999 toilet booths since December 2014 till date.
“We hope the project would assist in improving the quality of basic education across the state,” he said.
Nakamura said JICA’s support for the state had transcended primary school construction to include rural water supply and training programmes for government officials.
Also, in a remark, Mr. Sadanobu Kusaoke, Ambassador of Japan in Nigeria, said the project was expected to accommodate 65 pupils per classroom.
Kusaoke listed diversification of the economy and social development through empowerment were two priority areas the Japanese government was committed to.
Also speaking, Malam Adamu Adamu, the Minister of Education, said the project was one of the fruits of the long-standing relationship between Nigeria and Japan.
The minister, who was represented by Mrs. Opeyemi Ariba, a Deputy Director, Federal Ministry of Education, said the effort was in line with the Federal Government’s commitment to the enhancement of teaching and learning.
While responding, Governor Abiola Ajimobi said Japan was a leading country in the world because of knowledge, adding that most developed nations are knowledge-driven.
He appreciated Mr. Bobby Ologun, an Ibadan indigene based in Japan who facilitated the project to Ibadan.
“Ologun did this for us because he has education. Education is the largest industry in Oyo State.
“What we are having today is Japanese government through JICA helping us develop our future leaders,” he said.
The governor, who told the pupils that the good education acquired by Ologun had helped the state and not the brigandage they displayed recently.
Ajimobi used the medium to restate his administration’s determination to reposition education for greater heights in the state, saying that the government would partner JICA in developing schools in the state.
The well-constructed classroom blocks were furnished with desks, chairs and blackboards.
The event was attended by the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Adetunji, representatives of UBEC, SUBEB and a host of other dignitaries.
By Adeola Oladele, Ibadan