The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Mr Sonny Echobo has bowed out if service after spending 35 years in service.

Echono also disclosed during a brief ceremony to mark his exit from service in Abuja on Thursday, that there was need to continue the training of Nigerian children to face the future challenges of the country.

He noted that the only solution to multifaceted challenges facing the country was the training of the children saying this would prepare them to face the future.

The Outgoing Permanent Secretary, while giving his valedictory speech. thanked President Muhammadu Buhari’s responses to education sector matters.

Echono said he was fulfilled that throughout the four years of his being the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education, no single memo sent to the President that had not been approved.

He described the education sector as a critical sector to the national development, he added that If Nigeria trains her population, it will inturn create employment & build the workforce for the country.

” A lot of things are being unraveled by technology, and we can no longer pretend not to be aware of what’s happening.

“We must, unarguably, provide quality education that would help our people fend for themselves and contribute to the socioeconomic development of Nigeria and the world.

“If we train our people well and give them the relevant education, they would create employment for themselves and not wait for us on the highway to kidnap us.

” It is the responsibility of all to achieve that, and we must prepare our citizens for the challenge ahead,” he said.

Echono retired after 35 years of meritorious service to the nation and on Thursday handed over the baton of office of the Director, Human Resources, Federal Ministry of Education, Mr David Gende in acting capacity.

In his remarks, the Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, disclosed that both him and the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, attempted elongating the tenure of Echono but failed , saying that Echono rejected the offer.

According to him, “towards the close of the year last year, I told Malam Adamu Adamu that you are the ones in power, can’t we extend this man’s stay here? And Malam said he was not sure if he can get that because things have changed a little bit and our President will not listen to that any longer”

“I tried to tempt the Permanent Secretary and said please, can we employ you in some other areas to see if we can keep you? And he said he is advising us to respect ourselves and try to allow him some kind of time to rest, that he has actually worked hard and would not try to kill himself. But we really tried all kinds of gimmicks to persuade him”.

” So when I heard Professor Ajiboye saying that we can’t afford to let him go, he was not only reflecting on his exit but the service he gave to the country at the highest level,” Nwajiuba said.

The Registrar and Chief of Executive of Teachers’Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN), Prof. Josiah Ajiboye, who spoke on behalf of other Chief Executives of Agencies under the Federal Ministry of Education, said Echono had been the life wire of the Ministry and that the education sector could not afford to let him go because of his dynamism and versatility.

Ajiboye noted that his exit would create a great challenge for anybody who would take over from him “because you have enlarged the shoes”

Also, the Director, Human Resources, Mr David Gende, who spoke on behalf of other directors in the Ministry highlighted several achievements to his credit including the recently resuscitated National Senior Secondary Education Commission NSSEC),the establishment of New Polytechnics, universities,colleges of education and the newly established Unity Colleges, among others..

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