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Governors to declare emergency on education


[FILE PHOTO] NEC- National Planning Minister Udoma Udo Udoma (left); Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and President Muhammadu Buhari at the first National Economic Council retreat for state governors at the State House, Abuja .PHOTO: PHILIP OJISUA<br />

The National Economic Council (NEC) has urged governors to declare emergency on education in the 36 states of the federation.

It also urged the state and federal governments to allocate at least 15 per cent of their yearly budgets to education with a view to revolutionising the sector.

They were also enjoined to constitute a task force to manage the funds and ensure infrastructure renewal in selected schools nationwide.

Deputy Governor Phillip Shuaibu of Edo State made the disclosure yesterday while briefing State House Correspondents on the outcome of the monthly NEC meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He said: “All governors to declare a state of emergency on the education sectors of their states and demonstrate commitment to revamp education.

“Federal Government and states to allocate a minimum of 15 per cent of their budgets to education in order to revolutionalise the sector.

“(They are to) constitute a special task force to manage the funds and oversee the infrastructure overhaul of selected schools for intervention across the federation.”

According to him, the resolutions followed the recommendations of its ad hoc panel raised in June after a briefing by the Minister of Education on the state of the nation’s education sector.

He noted that NEC thereafter set up the Ad hoc Committee on the Revival of the Education Sector in Nigeria to review and submit recommendations.

Its recommendations include: “The committee observed that a multi-frontal approach is required to tackle the various factors militating against the achievement of the nation’s educational objectives.

“The committee strongly recommends that the Federal Government, states and local governments collaborate to vigorously implement and sustain action on the 10 pillars of the Ministerial Strategic Plan developed by the Federal Ministry of Education

“Among the areas of attention are the issue of out-of-school children, promotion of adult literacy and special needs education, revival of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET), strengthening of basic education, prioritising of teacher education, capacity building and professional development as well as ensuring quality and access to tertiary education and promoting of ICT and library services.”

Shuaibu noted that “Council decided that while the interim report is being reviewed by members, a more detailed report (should) be prepared and presented at the next NEC meeting when decisions would be taken on the recommendations.”

Besides, NEC backed the conditions set by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration for states to access the Paris Club largesse, saying justification of the previous allocations was necessary to merit fresh tranches.

Bauchi State Governor Mohammed Abubakar told newsmen that there was no wisdom in owing workers’ salaries when the initial refunds were meant to address the challenge.

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