DELTA State Government has said one of the new Universities, the Delta State University of Agriculture was named after the first Premier of the defunct Mid-Western Region, Chief Dennis Osadebe so as to immortalise him in recognition of his struggle.
The State Commissioner for Higher Education, Prof Patrick Muoboghare who made explanation while briefing journalists on the outcome of the meeting of the State’s Executive Council meeting presided over by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, said the University was not named after Chief Dennis Osadebe as away of compensating his family.
Muoboghare who was flanked by the State Commissioner for Information, Mr Charles Aniagwu and the Senior Policy Adviser to the Governor, Prof. Sylvester Monye, said: “What are we compensating people for? There is nothing to compensate anybody for. The man Dennis Osadebe is the one we are immortalizing, we are not compensating anybody.
“Real immortalization does not bring money to anybody but we must recognize his struggle as the first and only Premier of the Mid-Western Region. Before now, there is only one University in the State and that is Delta State University, Abraka. Dennis Osadebe University has been established, the Anwai Campus of the Delta State University is hereby pronounced dead.
“Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife, was the University of Ife, when the occasion arose, there was a name change. There are many Universities like that. Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University was also changed.
“That it is this University today does not mean that in the next 30 years it will remain so. The State, the owner can decide if there is somebody they want to honour or localize by naming the University after him”.
On whether the State Government has plan to rename the Delta State University, Abraka after Olorogun Felix Ibru who is the first civilian Governor of the State who founded the University, the State Commissioner for Information, Mr Charles Aniagwu said the State Secretariat has been named after him (Ibru).
However, Muoboghare said: “I am sure some Urhobo people want the University named after Mukoro Mowoe, some want it named after Mariere before Ibru. So we don’t just go into giving name like that”.
On the signing of bills for the upgrade of three tertiary institutions in the state to universities, he said the signing of the bills by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa was a boost to the take-off of the institutions, explaining that the schools were meant to create space for Deltans to acquire tertiary education.
On the concessioning of the Asaba International Airport, the State Commissioner for Information, Mr Charles Aniagwu said the Airport was not sold but only concessioned for 30 years to make for its adequate upgrade into a world-class airport by the concessionaire.
Aniagwu said that under the concession agreement, the concessionaire would inject about N30 billion into the upgrade of facilities at the airport. He said the State Executive Council approved the construction and rehabilitation of some roads across that state.
He named some of the roads to include; Akeye Street and Ovedje Close both in Okumagba Layout, Warri South Local Government Area; Ajaji/Ofili/Nwaomu Road in Asaba, Oshimili South Local Government Area as well as the rehabilitation and asphalt overlay of Obi Ugbe Road in Asaba.
Giving more insight into the concession of the Asaba Airport, Senior Policy Adviser to the Governor, Prof. Sylvester Monye, said the decision, which took five years to achieve, was to turn Asaba into a commercial hub.
Monye said that under the concession agreement, the state government would get N43 billion as royalty, in addition to about N80 billion the government would also earn from the exercise as revenue, adding that the concession became necessary as the daily operation of the airport would be effectively managed by private investors.