Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, has announced the upgrade of Imo State Polytechnic, Umuagwo, to a full-fledged university.
The institution is now to be known as Imo State University of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Umuagwo.
Okorocha also inaugurated an implementation committee to oversee the immediate take off of the six universities, four polytechnics and two colleges of education established by his administration.
The committee was headed by Prof. Chima Iwuchukwu.
Speaking while inaugurating the committee yesterday at the Sam Mbakwe Council chambers, in Owerri, Okorocha said that he is bequeathing a sound education legacy for the people of the state, which was propelled by the well articulated free education policy of his administration.
He noted that the laws establishing the institutions have been passed by the state House of Assembly.
According to him, “From one university, the State now has six, which has satisfied the growing tertiary education needs of the teeming Imo youths.”
He said that his free education policy has taken thousands of youth off the street, with the attendant drastic reduction in crime and criminal related activities.
The governor further stressed, “Let me say that I am not setting any trap for the incoming administration either do I want the incoming government to fail with the setting up of these universities, polytechnics and colleges of education.
“The dream behind it is that our children who are the highest in seeking of university education in the whole of the federation will have more opportunities of having access to university education.
“Education and health sectors have received the highest attention in Imo state within the last eight years of my administration. The free education program in the state has reduced crimes in the state. Children are no longer Hawking; they are now in schools because there is free education in the state.
“Nobody has any reason not to continue with the free education, which I introduced. Education is our culture and it is the main stay of our lives in Imo state. It has drastically increased literacy level in the state. Children of the poor now have unlimited access to quality education up to university level.”
On whether the state has the financial capacity to fund the new institutions, Okorocha said that the schools will be managed under Public Private Partnership arrangement.