70 Million Nigerians Have No Access to Education

70 Million Nigerians Have No Access to Education

Postby Richard Akindele » Sat Nov 11, 2006 12:22 am

Emeka Mamah

Education Minister, Mrs Obiageli Ezekwesili says she is worried that about seven million Nigerians who are of school age have no access to education. Ezekwesili who spoke at the on-going seminar on 10- year programme for Medium Development Agencies in Kaduna yesterday said however that the Federal Government was taking a holistic approach to the problems of education in a bid to ensure speedy development of the sector.

The seminar was organized by the office of the Economic Adviser to the President. The minister spoke through the director of planning in her ministry, Mrs Gladys Makoju. "Over seven million pupils are out of school. Education is a key factor to the development of the country. We are looking at free, compulsory primary education as the bedrock towards this.

"Education sector is very critical in achieving other national goals. We are zeroing-in at free primary education (six yearsand another three years in the junior secondary school). That is nine years of basic education," she said.

Also, the Minister of Agriculture, Alhaji Adamu Bello said there can be no discussion about national security without first talking about food security pointing out that Nigeria can feed the West African sub-region if adequate attention was given to agriculture. Bello who also spoke through a representative of his ministry Mr Wole Edu stressed that Nigeria spent about N260 billion [2billion] annually on importations of agricultural products before the Obasanjo administration came into office in 1999.

Edu however said that the situation had changed for the better even as about 40 percent of the country"s farmlands were yet to be cultivated. He said that the major problems facing farmers in the country were lack of storage and processing facilities as 40 percent of food produced in the country "go into waste".

In his own contribution, the Minister of Labour and Productivity, represented by the Deputy Director [Employment] in the Ministry, Mr Adeniyi Adeyemo said Nigeria would export labour as a way of solving unemployment problems in the country. Adeyemo further suggested that government should treat the employment of applicants "as a social development issue." Kaduna state governor, Alhaji Ahmed Mohammed Makarfi was represented at the seminar by a permanent secretary, Mr. Dominic Yahaya.

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