The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education in Bayelsa state, Comrade Walton Liverpool has said those clamoring for the merger of existing state owned tertiary institutions were enemies of the state.
Liverpool made the assertion, while speaking to newsmen in response to clamours in some quarters for the possible merger of some of the newly established universities in the state so as to enable adequate funding of higher education.
The Perm Sec. noted that the establishment of two additional universities and one polytechnic by the immediate administration of Seriake Dickson was in a right direction.
Describing Bayelsa as one of the academically disadvantaged states in the country, Liverpool, who was the immediate past Executive Secretary of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), said the establishment of more tertiary institutions only underscored the premium attached to education by the state government.
He expressed optimism that the present government led by Senator Douye Diri, which he described as a continuation and consolidation of the restoration government, would not truncate the educational efforts made by the previous administration, which the present governor was part of as Principal Executive Secretary .
He said “those calling for the merging of our universities are enemies of progress. The Medical University, Yenagoa, for instance, is a university of its own, having dealings with medical students only.
“The University of Africa, Toru-orua, is an institution of its own with so many faculties and departments. The two are not the same institutions to be merged. If anybody is calling for the schools to be merged, that person is an enemy of Bayelsa state.
“I don’t think the present administration is having that kind of idea. This present administration is a continuation of the former restoration government. So, it can’t do that kind of a thing. I don’t think anybody is muting that kind of idea in the present prosperity government.”
The PS, who was the pioneer executive secretary of SUBEB, said if given the opportunity to serve in the new administration, he would build on his achievements at SUBEB.” SUBEB under my leadership recorded many unprecedented and nonpareil achievements , not withstanding many awards from groups and National organs, hence if any group is clamouring for my inclusion in the present administration of Governor Douye Diri, it is a welcome development.”
He described his relationship as a permanent Secretary in Ministry of Education with Governor Douye Diri as very cordial as this could be sustained when given a higher capacity.
Liverpool highlighted some of his achievements as SUBEB’s executive scribe to include: construction of 450 headmasters’ quarters across the state, renovation of over 450 primary schools and construction of 50 new ones. He also applauded the giant strides recorded in the educational sector by former governor Seriake Dickson, which he was part of as the Executive Secretary of SUPEB before his elevation to the Federal House of Representatives and Senate, where he distinguished himself as a worthy representative of his state.
He added that as permanent secretary, he restored electricity and flow of water at the ministry of education, which were non-functional before he was drafted to the ministry three months ago.