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Governor Otu Pledges Support For Hope Waddell Training Institution's 130th Anniversary

Cross River State Governor, Senator Bassey Otu, has pledged to support the anniversary of one of Nigeria's foremost educational centre, the Hope Waddell Training Institution, Calabar.

The Governor made the pledge when he granted an audience to the executives of Hope Waddell Institution's Old Students' Association, a school founded in 1895.

He acknowledged the numerous ideas and projects initiated by the old Students’ Association led by Efio-Ita Ephraim Esq, adding that his administration will send a delegation to inspect the various projects lined up by the Association with the view to review and agree on the best area for the State Government intervention.

He acknowledged the huge role and position the 130-year institution occupies in the anals of Nigeria's educational system.

Cross River State Governor, Senator Bassey Otu and Efio-Ita Ephraim Esq, the National President of Hope Waddell Institution old Students' Association after a meeting in Calabar

He disclosed that the state government, under his administration is doing a lot to raise the standard of education, empowerment, and healthcare for the betterment of the people.

He commended the Hope Waddell Training Institution Old Students Association's initiative to institute a One Billion Naira endowment fund aimed at taking over the school for better management and development of other frontiers.

The Governor granted the Association's request for the listing of the Hope Waddell Old Students’ 5km Mini-Marathon event into the annual Calabar Carnival and Festival calendar, which he maintained will also boost the tourism potentials of the state.

Further, he also agreed to support the move by the Old Students’ Association for the federal government to recognize as a national monument, a field at Hope Waddell Institution, which truly is the birthplace of soccer in Nigeria. It is where the first football game was played in the country.

Speaking earlier, the National President of Hope Waddell Old Students Association, Efio-Ita Ephraim Esq., congratulated the Governor on a remarkably successful first year in office, saying, “Your leadership and vision have already begun to yield positive changes in our beloved state, and we are confident that the coming years will bring even greater achievements under your stewardship.”

The alumni body's leader said "Hope Waddell Training Institution, an iconic first-generation secondary school established by the Scottish mission (now Presbyterian Church of Nigeria) in 1895, has a rich legacy of academic excellence and character formation. However, the current church management, like all mission schools in the country, faces significant challenges in funding the school’s infrastructural and academic demands.”

Continuing, he added: "our association took the mantle of supporting our beloved school. We have renovated and equipped laboratories, classrooms, dormitories, and other structures. We have also awarded scholarships to deserving students and given financial support to teachers. Our ultimate goal is to take over the school's management through a One Billion Naira Endowment Fund we have established.”

He thanked the Governor for the audience, granted the alumni body of the school and invited him to be part of the 130th-anniversary celebration in March 2025.

He also informed that the Association has succeeded in restoring the Premier Building in the school premises, one of the oldest prefabricated storey buildings in the country.

“This historic structure was on the brink of collapse but has been meticulously restored through the intervention of our association in collaboration with a donor agency from Germany dedicated to preserving artefacts. The restoration project is ready for commissioning, and we would be greatly honoured if you could grace us with your presence to commission this significant milestone at a date in August that will be duly communicated to you," he concluded.

Nsa Gill
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor