Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State on Thursday announced the sack of the entire staff of the state-owned College of Agriculture, Iguoriakhi in Ovia North-East Local Government Area of the state.
The termination of the appointment of all the staff members was contained in a letter by the state government signed by the state Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Monday Osaigbovo, and dated May 25, 2018.
In the letter titled, ‘Restructuring of the College of Agriculture, Iguoriakhi,’ the commissioner stated that following the restructuring of the college and subsequent closure, government has decided to terminate the services of all the staff with effect from January 31, 2018.
“I am directed to refer to the above mentioned subject and to inform you that following the restructuring of the College of Agriculture, Iguoriakhi, and its subsequent closure, government has decided that your services are no longer required with effect from 31st January, 2018.
“You are requested to handover all government properties in your possession to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, immediately.
“Furthermore, I am to add that in line with your terms of engagement, your cheque for January 2018 monthly salary with one month in lieu of notice is herewith attached.”
It will be recalled that the 37-year-old college was established by the civilian administration of the late Prof. Ambrose Ali. It was shut down by a military governor, but later reopened by the Lucky Igbinedion administration in 2001.
The school charged with the responsibility of offering Ordinary and Higher National Diplomas in Agricultural Technology, Animal Science, Crop Science, Agricultural Extension and Management, was in August 2017, temporarily closed by the Godwin Obaseki-led government with a promise to revamp the institution.
Obaseki said the institution was closed down because it was not worthy of being a school of agriculture due to its poor standard.
Students of the institution were sent to several agricultural firms for industrial attachment and to be paid the sum of N20,000 monthly.
“I shut down the school to enable me invest money and bring it up to standard. I will revamp the school so that the graduates will be employable,” the governor explained.
He disclosed that he is in talks with Okomu Oil Palm Company Plc; Nigerian Institute for Oil Palm Research (NIFOR), and PRESCO Plc to join hands with his administration to revamp the institution, help train students and provide them with employment.
“I will provide allowances to the 261 students in the school and send them to farms for industrial training,” he added.