After helping Rivers State in repositioning its security system and agric venture system, Israel now wants to play deep roles in the education revolution now sweeping through the oil-rich state, worth at least N500 billion in eight years.
A company, MPD of Israel, has been in the forefront of designing schemes and projects that improve security in Rivers State including the introduction of camera system, helicopter overfly system, central information system, sniping, anti-terrorism, etc. LR of Israel is leading the charge for a N23 billion agro-city system in Etche area of the state while other companies from Israel handle fish projects, etc. Another is leading the surge for vocational training to lead to an explosion in small and micro-scale businesses and entrepreneurial ventures along with German groups.
Now, the State of Israel has said it is willing to enter into bilateral relations with the Rivers State government on education.
Rivers State has since declared a state of emergency in the education sector and is voting an average of N60 billion every year since 2008 to rescue the sector. Actual budgetary release is however less than budgeted so far. Yet, there is huge investment in the sector; building 750 model primary schools at about N115 million each, equipping them to the teeth with more billions of naira, supply of free books and laptops, building of special secondary schools at N4.5 billion each, mass retraining and re-certification of teachers, mass recruitment and training of (13,000) teachers, etc.
The Israeli ambassador to Nigeria, Yriel Palti, disclosed this during a courtesy call with his wife on the Rivers State governor, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, in Government House in Port Harcourt.
Israel would need cooperation to enhance education for Nigeria’s future leaders. He said, “Nigeria and Israel have developed common values, some great common values of love of building great nations together”.
He noted that pilgrimage by Christians from Nigeria to the Holy City of Jerusalem has also cemented relations between Nigeria and the State of Israel and said he was looking forward to cooperation between Israel and the Rivers State government.
Responding, Governor Amaechi thanked the Israeli ambassador and his delegation for the visit. He told the ambassador about his administration’s existing partnerships with Israeli firms on security and agriculture, and expressed his administration’s readiness to further enhance relations.
Israel is not alone in countries seeking a piece of the action in the education sector where over N200 billion is being spent in about four years on 750 model primary schools, 24 world-class secondary schools, vocational centres,