Minister of Education Malam Adamu Adamu said yesterday that the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government would need one trillion naira annually to fulfill its campaign promises on education.
Adamu spoke at a special retreat of the Federal Executive Council on Education at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
The minister, who called for a state of emergency in education, maintained that all change must begin with education, because, “if we get education right, other areas of our national life will be right and they will fall in line.
”I believe that this retreat should end with a declaration of a state of emergency in education so that we can face the challenges frontally and squarely.
“These challenges are not insurmountable. 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 the funds available.
“Nobody has the moral and resource capacity to intervene promptly, substantially and sustainably in all areas of education provisioning better than the government.
“Unfortunately, from 1999 to date, the annual budgetary allocation to education has always been between four per cent and 10 per cent.’’
According to him, none of the E9 or D8 countries other than Nigeria allocates less than 20 per cent of its annual budget to education.
He added that even among sub-Saharan Africa countries, Nigeria was trailing far behind smaller and less endowed nations in terms of its investment in education.
The minister, therefore, stressed the need for a major investment in education in the national interest.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Prof. Peter Okebukola, a former Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, who presented Nigeria’s Score Card at the event, expressed the hope that Buhari administration would address the challenges in the nation’s education sector.
The Minister added: “If education is weak or dysfunctional, society and its development will also be weak and dysfunctional. And all change including our very Change Agenda begins with education; because it is education that shapes, corrects and restores society. But to be able to restore order to society, education has to be made a national priority. “