The Bayelsa State Government said it would formulate a comprehensive policy that would guide the management of all its tertiary institutions and the government parastatals towards making them less dependent on government funding.
To this end, the government is to constitute sub-committees to study and streamline the various policies that would be generated, based on the report presented by the Committee on the Management and Funding of Tertiary Education and Government Parastatals.
Governor Henry Seriake Dickson stated this over the weekend in Government House, Yenagoa while receiving the report of the Committee headed by the Deputy Governor, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah (rtd).
The Governor said the State Executive Council would also analyze the report thoroughly and fashion out relevant policies that would guide the operations of all tertiary institutions and government agencies in the state.
Governor Dickson, who stressed the need to reposition such educational facilities and the government parastatals by making them self-sustaining, pointed out that, the measure had become imperative, in view of the dwindling finances of the state, occasioned by the national economic downturn.
He, however, assured that, the government would support all tertiary institutions in the state, including the Niger Delta University, Amassoma as it is the only public tertiary institution in Bayelsa.
Applauding the efforts of members of the committee for doing a thorough job, Governor Dickson said the government would implement the findings and recommendations contained in the report and directed the committee to make a copy of the report available to the State House of Assembly.
Presenting the report, Deputy Governor, Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John Jonah (rtd), who is also the Chairman of the Committee on the Management and Funding of Tertiary Education and Government Parastatals, said the committee was divided into two groups, with one looking at the tertiary institutions headed by the Secretary to the State Government, while the Head of Service chaired that of the government agencies.
He explained that an 11 point terms of reference was established for the tertiary institutions, which include, identification of all sources of revenue to the tertiary institutions, review and examine the financial state of the government owned tertiary institutions, staff and students’ strength as well as how the finances were managed.
The Deputy Governor who said, 7 tertiary institutions in the state were examined, also highlighted some of the major findings of the committee to include, challenges in accreditation, least student population, over-bloated non-academic staff and infrastructure deficit as compared to other tertiary institutions in the country.
He also recounted the findings on some government agencies to include, poor management structure, lack of due process in the employment of staff and wholly dependent on the government for salaries and expenses.
Some of the parastatals examined were, the Bayelsa Transport Company Ltd, Bayelsa State Broadcasting Corporation, Niger Delta Television, Bayelsa State Newspaper Corporation and Bayelsa Housing and Property Development Authority.