Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Amaechi, has said his administration has spent over N5.4 billion in building model primary schools in Port Harcourt, the state capital.
Amaechi also said his government would increase the number of classrooms from 14 to 20 classroom blocks to meet the increasing number of school children seeking admission into the state's model primary schools.
He stated this during a town hall meeting with the people of Port Harcourt City Local Government Area at the council headquarters yesterday. The town hall meeting is a regular interactive forum between the state governor and the people of the 23 local government areas in the state.
According to Amaechi, "In Port Harcourt alone, we have built 32 primary schools and 80 per cent of these contracts were given to Rivers people. We have spent a total of N5.448 billion in building primary schools and other institutions in Port Harcourt.
I told you we have awarded a total of 32 primary schools, 20 of them are completed, 19 of them have been functioning and 10 of them are ongoing.
"We have just recently awarded three new contracts because we discovered that the more we build schools the more the demand increases. More people are withdrawing their children from private schools to our schools. For that reason, we have stopped building 14 classroom blocks, we are now building 20 classroom blocks and we have awarded three."
He said "we have awarded contracts for schools in Ahiamakara for 20 classrooms, 1 and 2 and then at old University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH). We are building a new primary school there. That place will take three structures.
The first structure is a primary school, the second structure is a hospital and we are partnering with the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) on the hospital, and the third structure is that of the School of Nursing, which will move in there."
Amaechi said his administration had made arrangement with a German team to give vocational training to school children at a section of the old Port Harcourt primary schools for six years, adding that the Germans would also train some teachers who would in turn train children in model primary schools across the state.
On power, Amaechi said the state government was negotiating with the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) to allow the state distribute power to its people, stressing that the state government had generated enough power for distribution.
He said an American team had also been contacted to manage the world-class Kesley Harrison Hospital, disclosing that both the hospital and the dental hospital in the state capital would be opened for use in December or early January next year.
He said the state's primary healthcare centres in Port Harcourt were doing well and mentioned some of those to include the primary healthcare centres in Elekahia, Churchill road and Okija.
Amaechi said contracts were being awarded to rebuild most roads in old Port Harcourt Township and in D/Line.
"Recently, we have awarded contract from Hospital Road to Aggrey Road reconstruction, all the streets will be reconstructed, and in this contract, we added streetlights, drainage and overlay the streets. And I have just awarded contract for all the streets in D/Line to be rebuilt. We are negotiating to fix all the streets in GRA and in Diobu," he said.
Earlier, the Mayor of Port Harcourt, Hon. Chimbiko Akarolo, said since Amaechi became governor, governance in the state had taken a new dimension and described the governor's town hall meetings as a good way of interacting with the people.