The Kogi State Ministry of Education, Science and Technology has been rated the second most ethical compliant ministry in the state and enlisted among the top 100 least corrupt state owned MDAS by an anticorruption NGO, the Centre for Ethics and Self Value Orientation (CESVO)
Subsequently, the spearheader of the success of the ministry, the Honourable Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Hon. Wemi Jones, (FCIB), has been rewarded with the Integrity Icon of Nigeria (IION) award in recognition of his public administration procedures.
Also, The Permanent Secretary, Pastor Emmanuel Idenyi and several Directors in the Ministry were honoured with awards for professional ethics compliance by the anticorruption NGO
Receiving the gold medal award and the ministry’s certificate of credence in his office in Lokoja, the elated Mr. Jones said the outstanding achievements in the state education sector were works in progress; assuring that many developmental projects would come up in the coming year.
He disclosed that he had avoided receiving awards and turned down many in the past, but had accepted the CESVO awards after considering their antecedents and making due consultations, seeing they were worthy.
Describing the recognition as a great honour done him and the ministry, the Commissioner praised God for the privilege and commended His Excellency, Governor Yahaya Bello for giving him the opportunity to serve the good people of Kogi State while according him the necessary support to succeed.
He said Governor Bello remained committed to the belief that education should never be politicised under any circumstance and had graciously increased the budgetary allocation to education from 20% to 30% in the 2022 budget beyond the 26% UNESCO recommendation for education.
Earlier, the Executive Director of CESVO, Prince Salih Musa Yakubu said the Commissioner had over time proven himself worthy of the award and honour.
He said the Commissioner was rewarded for being one of those making aggressive moves to change the narrative of misgovernance and corruption in Nigeria.
The Executive Director particularly commended Mr.Jones for the realisation of the Kogi State Education 2020 within 16 months in office, and the establishment of Confluence University of Science and Technology (CUSTECH) Osara within the space of one year.
He also praised the Permanent Secretary, management and staff of the ministry for their support to the system and commitment to duty.
In his vote of thanks, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Pastor Emmanuel Idenyi, thanked the NGO for the honour, and encouraged them to continue the good work without compromise.
He assured the group of the commitment of the Commissioner and the entire management and staff of the ministry to building on the attained standard and never to lower it.
”The awards and honours will definitely spur the Commissioner and the ministry to do more for the development of education in the state,” Idenyi said.
CESVO is the largest single anticorruption NGO in Nigeria and one of the top 10 in Africa conducting multi sectoral independent secret assessment exercises, while exposing corruption, promoting ethical leadership, and providing ethical education and self value orientation to global citizens.
The NGO had carried out assessment of all MDAs in Kogi state for sixteen months before arriving at the results for the awards.