Delta govt, Catholic Diocese resolve premises ownership issues

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The Delta State Government and Catholic Diocese of Warri have resolved the long dragged ownership dispute over a portion of St. Theresa’s Grammar School premises in Ekiugbo, Ughelli North Local Government Area of the state.

At a meeting convened in Asaba by the State Commissioner for Secondary Education, Mrs. Rose Ezewu, both parties agreed to a settlement, with the state government agreeing to pay N300 million as compensation.

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The figure was said to be a reduction from the initial demand of N500 million) by the Warri Catholic Diocese.

Expressing satisfaction with the resolution, the Commissioner emphasised that the meeting was a success, same as others,t who spoke to The DEFENDER in telephone interview n Saturday.

The importance of ensuring access to education for the children of Ekiugbo community through the public school system was also highlighted.

Mr. Augustine Oghoro, the Permanent Secretary, in the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, disclosed that the meeting was convened following a letter from the Bishop of Warri Diocese on February 3, 2024.

He clarified that St. Theresa’s Grammar School was among the schools returned to churches by the state government in 2017.

Oghoro reiterated the government’s commitment to providing quality education and instilling moral values in children, underscoring the unfortunate nature of the disagreement between the government and the Catholic Diocese of Warri.

Representing the Catholic Diocese of Warri, Very Rev. Fr. Barnabas Esegine, the Vicar-General, conveyed the Bishop’s acceptance of the reduced compensation offer, stating that the Bishop had initially proposed Four Hundred Million Naira (N400 million) but agreed to reconsider in light of the government’s proposal.

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