Written by Godfrey AKON

FG spends over N1trillion on education in 4 years

President Muhammadu Buhari has disclosed that the Federal Government spent over N1 trillion in the nation’s education sector in the last four years.

Buhari, who stated this while addressing members of Progressives in Academics in Abuja, said the funds were spent through the Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC, Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFund, and Needs Assessment interventions.

The President said N25 billion was also released to public universities to pay earned academic allowances to lecturers.

“Our home grown school feeding programme covering more than 10 million children, coupled with our social investment initiative has encouraged many parents to send their children to school and also pay for more teachers in classrooms.

“In the next four years we shall continue with the work to transform the sector bearing in mind our high population growth rate, financial challenges and security issues, especially those grossly affected areas,’’ he said.

While noting that his administration’s focus and agenda could only be sustained through education and security, he said government had no option than to produce more engineers, technicians, doctors, nurses and the teachers.

“To achieve this, we shall continue to seek your advice and guidance. I am pleased to note some of the ideas you proposed, this submission is timely as we prepare for the next level,’’ the president said.

On Almajiris, the President blamed state governments in northern Nigeria for the menace of Almajiri system of education.

Buhari said it was not proper to blame the Federal Government for the problem as the responsibility was that of state governments.

He stated that state government have the constitutional obligation to transform the Almajiri system of education, adding that it was wrong to blame the Federal Government.

The Almajiri system of education which allows children of school age to engage in Qur’anic learning, is practiced in all 19 states of northern Nigeria and associated with begging and other social challenges.

“The people are deliberately criticising the government – when I say the government of course I mean the Federal Government, for the Almajiris. But that is the responsibility of the state governments, which means the state governments are not doing their job.

“The problem of education, I hope when you are going to produce your paper you should be referring to the constitution – What the Centre (Federal Government) is supposed to do; what the state is supposed to do and what the local governments are supposed to do,” he said.

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