The Bayelsa State Executive Council has threatened to arrest and prosecute parents and guardians who refuse to send their children or wards to school to acquire formal education.
The decision came on the heels of the signing into law of the Compulsory Primary and Secondary Education Law by Governor Henry Seriake Dickson.
Speaking with journalists on Wednesday after the 89th State Executive Council (SEC) meeting, the Commissioner for Education, Jonathan Obuebite said with the assent of the bill, every child of school age must be enrolled into the various model schools of the government.
Obuebite maintained that any child that is seen loitering or hawking on the streets during school hours will be picked up while their parents or guardian will be dealt with as provided in the new law.
He explained that the move is to emphasize the importance the government attaches to education, adding that with the huge investment made in that sector there is every need to ensure it does not become a waste.
“We have spent over 70 billion naira building and equipping our schools. Today we have quality infrastructure and facilities across our schools in every local government area. We feel it is important to have this law to protect that investment.
“The law will be fully implemented. We want to thank His Excellency for his assent and members of the assembly for passing it into law. Clearly the law is to demonstrate our commitment to education in the state”, Obuebite said.
Also speaking, the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Ebitimitula Etebu, said the council expressed delight with the law establishing the School of Midwifery, which existence was also signed into law by Gov. Dickson.
According to him, the law will further boost primary healthcare delivery in the state while on the other hand , the new Primary Health care Development Board will have the responsibility of coordinating and managing all health facilities that is built in every community.
The State Commissioner for Tourism Development, Ebiere Irene Musa noted that with the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding with Bristow Helicopters, shuttle services for the company’s sea plane from Yenagoa to other states in the Niger Delta as well as Lagos and Abuja has commenced.
“We have brought our tourism potentials out to the world. Just after the commissioning of the magnificent Grand Pavillion and Boat Club, Oxbow lake, we have today signed an MoU with Bristow helicopter. So it is a thing of joy that from Oxbow lake you can connect Lagos, Abuja and other states in this region”.
The Commissioner for Lands and Survey, Kuroakegha Dorgu disclosed that the council resolved to acquire the land opposite the Grand Pavillion in Oxbow lake to expand the tourism site there.
Dorgu also informed that fishing, farming, dredging and other related commercial activities has been banned to allow for smooth tourist operations in the area which in turn will earn for the state huge revenue.
The Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Daniel Iworiso-Markson , while rounding off the briefing stated that henceforth any community that is not receptive to some projects risk losing such development in their domain.
He said the council frowned at the attitude of indigenes of some community who are always in the habit of preventing the presence of meaningful development in their area because of their own selfish purpose.