Gov. Alex Otti of Abia has said that his administration plans to recruit at least 5,000 teachers to fill the shortage in the primary and secondary schools.
Otti made the disclosure in his inaugural speech, shortly after taking the Oath of Office and Allegiance at the Umuahia Township Stadium on Monday.
He said that it was part of his administration’s resolve to rebuild the school system so it could produce quality students that would be relevant to the needs of modern society.
He said that within the next one month, he would work closely with his team and relevant stakeholders to design an appropriate framework to be used to drive the recruitment.
The governor said that priority would be given to young graduates in education, science, technology, engineering and mathematics and those willing to serve in rural communities.
He said: “We shall see to it that our teachers undergo regular refresher courses to update their knowledge and teaching skills so that they will stay relevant in their chosen fields.
“It must also be stated that under our government, teachers shall never be shabbily treated as reportedly had been the custom in the past.
“The paucity of infrastructure in our educational system shall be addressed stridently.”
Meanwhile, the governor has declared a state of emergency on refuse disposal and waste management in Umuahia and Aba, the commercial nerve centre of the state.
According to him, a healthy urban environment shall be a major priority for this government.
He therefore directed the leadership of the State Environmental Protection Agency to roll out everything at its disposal and see that all refuse heaps within the two cities were promptly evacuated.
The former bank chief said that his administration would, within the next few days, commence the payment of May salaries and pensions to all civil servants and retirees.
“There shall be no more distinction between the so-called ‘core’ and ‘non-core’ civil servants in the state.
“From June, all salary and pension obligations of the state would be settled by the 28th of every month.
“My commitment during my campaigns to pay off all outstanding salary and pension arrears remains sacrosanct.
“Within the next one week, I shall set up appropriate mechanisms to ensure that all legitimate employees and retirees are identified and paid their due entitlements,” Otti said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Otti won the March 18 governorship election on the platform of the Labour Party.