By Raphael Jov, Abuja
The Nigerian government says education is critical for the development of any nation thus; the education sector must be given the needed attention at all times.
The country’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo made the declaration on Tuesday, at the opening of two-day workshop on sustainable funding of Nigeria’s education sector.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who was represented on the occasion by Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma, noted that government must give priority to funding of education and how to deliver quality education to its citizens.
“Education is very important. It is critical to the development of any nation. Therefore, all governments must give priority to how best to achieve quality education,” he said.
He stressed that adequate funding and strategic planning are knitted and the two must be pursued together.
Professor Osinbajo said the current administration led by President Muhammadu Buhari has perpetually increased funding for the education sector.
He said: “We have consistently supported the education sector by raising its budget every year since we came on board. For instance in the first budget that we did, we took up the capital allocation for education to N35.99 billion in 2016. Then in 2017 we took it up to N56.81 billion and this year 2018, the current capital budget for education is N102.9 billion”
The Vice President urged participants to come up with innovative ways by which increased funding of education can be achieved in Nigeria.
Minister of Education, Alhaji Adamu Adamu on his part, said teacher training equally needs attention, in order to make the profession more attractive as well as enhance the quality of education at all levels.
Adamu emphasized the need for adequate funding and planning, in the quest to move the education sector forward, adding that sustaining the sector is a responsibility of all.
“The main problem actually is, if a teacher doesn’t get a very good pre-service training, he is not likely to offer anything useful to his pupils or students. Education is a responsibility of all and I call on the State and Local Governments, our agencies, parastatals and indeed all Nigerians to join hands, so that we will be able to raise the funds needed to fund education,” the Minister appealed.
Speaking earlier, Mr Harnas Chandy, who gave a goodwill message on behalf of the World Bank, commended Nigeria for taking timely steps that will help determine Nigeria’s education plans and spending.
He said countries have to move fast to improve the quality of education by making the right investments on education.
The World Bank rep said Nigeria is a global key player that has to play its critical role at all times.
“The world needs to improve. There are some key players in the world and Nigeria is a key player in the world; Nigeria is a key global player and for the world to do well, Nigeria has to do well,” he stressed.
Chandy however lamented that fifty percent of children in school across the globe were not getting the needed education.
Participants at the two day workshop, who comprise critical stakeholders in education, were drawn from the thirty six states of the country.