By Usman Shuaibu
The Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu has called for the declaration of emergency in the education sector for the country to be able to change the fortunes of the system that will produce required manpower skills that can drive the socio-economic development of the nation.
A statement signed by Mrs. C. P Ihuoma, Director (Press & PR) Monday, said the minister made the call in his speech at the Special Retreat of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on the challenges facing the education sector in Nigeria held on Monday, November 13, 2017 at the State House Conference centre, Aso Rock, Abuja.
According to him, declaring emergency in the sector will garner the financial and political resources required for the country to tackle the challenges bedevilling it frontally and squarely.
He said the challenges are not insurmountable, noting that what is needed is vastly improved funding accompanied by a strong political will.
“The strong political will needed to do all this is present in this government. What this government must now do is to make funds available,” he added.
Mallam Adamu said nobody than government has the moral and resource capacity to intervene promptly, substantially and sustainably in all areas of education.
However, he said unfortunately, from 1999 to date the annual budgetary allocation to education has always been between four per cent and ten per cent.
He noted that none of the E9 or D8 countries other than Nigeria, allocates less than 20 per cent of its annual budget to education.
“Indeed, even among Sub-Saharan African countries, we are trailing far behind smaller and less endowed nations in terms of our investment in education. There is need for a major investment in education in the national interest,” he said.
In a welcome address, Minister of State for Education, Prof. Anthony Anwukah stressed the key role education plays in national development, adding that critical role of education underlines the reason nations invest massively in it.
He said that outcomes of the retreat will enrich the strategies geared toward producing middle and high levels manpower needed for national development.