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At UK event, Buhari pledges 50% education vote as HURIWA faults trip

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President Muhammadu Buhari has pledged to increase the budget for the education sector by as much as 50 per cent over the next two years.

He stated this at the ongoing Global Education Summit in London, United Kingdom, yesterday.

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In a document titled, Heads Of State Call To Action On Education Financing Ahead Of The Global Education Summit, signed as a form of commitment at the ongoing Summit in London, United Kingdom, the President said: “We commit to progressively increase our annual domestic education expenditure by 50 per cent over the next two years and up to 100 per cent by 2025 beyond the 20 per cent global benchmark.”

The summit is being co-hosted by the Prime Minister of the UK, Boris Johnson, and the President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta.

It seeks to give the opportunity for leaders to make five-year pledges to support Global Partnership on Education’s (GPE) work to help transform the education system is up to 90 countries and territories.

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Heads of State from the GPE partner countries including President Buhari are expected to brainstorm on the way forward for transforming education.

The leaders would also be deliberating on innovative solutions and global commitment to new ways of working, to address core challenges to gender equality and transforming education for girls.

Other African leaders expected to participate fully in the summit include Presidents Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana; Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya; Lazarus Chakwera of Malawi and Faure Gnassingbé of Togo.

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The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), meanwhile, has faulted the President’s medical trip to the United Kingdom.

In a statement issued by the national coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, in Abuja, yesterday, the rights body said: “The President who has led Nigeria both as a military dictator and now as an elected civilian president should not be seen globetrotting in search of medical assistance for his personal medical challenges.

The failure of President Buhari to use six years to fix the health infrastructure in Nigeria, so as to stave off medical tourism that drains much-needed foreign reserves, is totally indefensible, reprehensible, and despicable. It is a shame to the nation that the President is even defending this immoral behavior.”

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Buhari’s spokesman, Femi Adesina, had, however, justified the trip when he featured on a Channels Television programme, Politics Today. According to him, “Buhari has been with the same doctors and medical team for upward of 40 years. It’s advisable that he continues with those who know his medical history and that is why he comes to London to see them. He has used the same medical team for over 40 years. Once you can afford it, then stay with the team that has your history.”

This came as the Academy of Medicine Specialties of Nigeria (AMSN) urged the President to encourage medical practitioners with good welfare packages.

AMSN President, Prof. Oladapo Ashiru, said the academy discovered that Nigerian experts were leaving the country in growing numbers and that necessary steps must be taken to honour people who have made an impact in the field of medicine.

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Speaking during a media briefing on Tuesday to announce the formation of AMSN, Ashiru said the academy is creating a different outlook on the way medicine is viewed in Nigeria and worldwide.

Chairman of the board of trustees, Olorogun Dr. Sonny Kuku, said Nigeria is losing best hands in the sector and that over 20,000 medical practitioners have left the country due to poor medical structures. He noted that the academy is bringing best hands in the industry to promote excellence in medical research, education and boost the application of research in the practice of medicine for the enhancement of human health and welfare.

The academy disclosed it would honour five persons as honorary Fellows for their contribution to the health of Nigerians.

They are Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire; Minister of State for Health, Dr. Olorunnimbe Mamora; Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu; Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu and the founder of BUA Group, Abdulsamad Rabiu.

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