The commissioner for information, Hon. Ayibaina Crowther Duba have stated that education across the globe is expensive. The commissioner made this know while addressing NDU Campus Journalists on Friday in Yenagoa.
On the recent students’ agitation on school fees reduction, the information boss noted that “if I have to speak not as the commissioner for information but as Ayibaina Duba, people might not like my view about it. But there is nowhere that education is not expensive. That is the truth of the matter. What the government has done is to allow the school to run its own affairs”.
“If the school deem it necessary to tweak certain things to ensure the smooth running of the school, so be it. But that does not mean the government cannot come in when it is excessive because at the end of the day, the school is owned by government”.
“I don’t have an official statement to read from the school, but if what I read is true and if government feels otherwise, then the necessary steps will be taken.
On the current state of NDU subvention, the commissioner stated that “whether there is an increase or there is a decrease, government take decisions with regards to availability of its funds. So, if there is an increase, we thank God, if there is a decease because of certain circumstances, it is in the best interest of the school.
On a possible upward review of subvention to the NDU as stakeholders continue to press for such review, the commissioner stated that “everything stops at the table of his excellency and decisions are taken based on prevailing circumstances. If the need arises why not? But if the circumstances does not permit for that…”
“You know that from last year till now, the only resource we rely on is oil. Our IGR is nothing to write home about. If our resources are better and we say let us do this, then so be it… mind you, the schools have increased, its not just NDU”.
The information boss added that “information management is not all about lying. We will try as much as possible to be truthful in what we give out to the public. We want Bayelsans to know what the government is doing; to know without any colouration”.
“Within the last years when platforms like Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp and all kind of social media came up, the immediacy of news…” have become paramount. The commissioner noted that because of the tendency of ‘me post first’ “I don’t even see social media news as news”.
“Somebody will stay in his bedroom and post news without confirming and it cause a lot of dislocation even in governance. The Commissioner urged the students’ community that journalism is not an all comer’s game”.
“Even when you are not trained in journalism, because of the natural flare you have for news gathering, one may become a self-trained journalist but must endeavour to pass through the basics and rudiments of journalism” the commissioner added.
“Today, people without reportorial knowledge who don’t know how to report just wake up and post. That is why you see social media news sometimes the grammar is faulty, disjointed and even the thought process is questionable”.
The commissioner however, regretted that “it is something that has come to stay” but however, advise that “reporters should be more circumspect” because it may put the students reporters in trouble. “I can only advise because it is something we can’t stop. It has its own good side and that is the immediacy of news”.
“Students should focused more on their studies than joining cultism. You will think you have all the time to play, but as the day goes by, you are getting old. You will take the cultism to a point where even as a father, you are still behaving as a 20 year old”.
The commissioner advised students to be “focused on their studies”. The commissioner also urged the students journalists to keep up their good reportage since he understood what they are doing as he was once a student reporter.
He added that “students should be good ambassadors of themselves, their families, the school they are attending, particularly Bayelsa state and Nigeria at large. Whatever laurels you bring to the University is a joy to us”.
The commissioner also promised that “this administration has a lot for the youths and even when his excellency talks, he talks about education all the time”.