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FG, States devoting paltry sum to education- Rep

Date: 2018-02-25


A member of the House of Representatives representing Edu/Moro/Patigi Federal Constituency, Hon. Aliyu Ahman-Pategi, has expressed reservation over the paltry amount devoted to education sector at all levels of government.

He said the annual allocation to the sector from the budget negates the recommendation of the United Nations that 24 percent of the fiscal year be ceded to the sector being the fulcrum of other facets of life.

Speaking to Journalists at the inauguration of his educational endowment fund and empowerment scheme in Patigi, Patigi Local Government Area of Kwara State on Saturday, Ahman-Pategi said education requires adequate funding.

At the event, empowerment materials worth millions of naira including motorcycles, generating plants among others were distributed to members of his constituency.

The legislator regretted that politicians earn above the take home of Professors in Universities in Nigeria, saying that those in teaching profession receive good pay in Germany than those in other sectors.

Ahman-Pategi, who chairs the House Committee on Water Resources, said a sum of N5billion should be allocated to public Universities annually to address critical infrastructure needs of the institutions.

The Proprietor of the proposed Ahman Pategi University, who said his foundation would subsidise the educational fees of students upon the take-off of the institution, called for training and retraining of teachers to improve their capacity and meet the current trend in the education sector.

"My own view is that tertiary education at any level, I discover that government cannot properly fund education in terms of infrastructure, teachers training and the payment of remuneration to teachers. In Germany, the best paid public sector workers are the teachers. But in Nigeria, it is the opposite. We politicians earn higher than Professors.

"Meanwhile, it is the Professors that taught us. Just to give an example of why we think that the government does not have and will never have the required money to fund education properly. The standard by United Nations is 24 percent of our resources, national budget, and we are putting a paltry N400billion out of N7trilliion, that tells you it is an abysmal amount of resources being put to the sector.

"To improve it, no University in Nigeria should have less than N5billion to properly fund it and to train the teachers. Because teachers must be constantly trained and retrained and the infrastructure on our campuses must constantly be expanded in line with modern tools and modern best practices.

"This is what is lacking and that is why ASUU has always gone on strike. Government always feels their demand is always too much. It is because even when government has agreement, they don't implement it. You have a school like University of Ilorin that has over 40,000 Students, that has existed for over 40 years, it only has 16 Faculties till date. Yet, out of that 40,000 Students, they can only accommodate 5000, the remaining 35,000 Students are living around Tanke.

"So, this is why our culture breaks down, because education is not about knowledge alone, it is mind and the limb; skills and wisdom that must come together for a rounded human being. Education must be one that not only gives you knowledge but it must be the one also that moulds your character for a good survival within a society.

"You must be able to impact on society positively whether you have job or not. You can engage in other vocations that not everybody can be admitted into white collar jobs. So, we must build a child to be rounded person in terms moral, character and skills to be able to use your hands either as a Carpenter, a Motor Mechanic, a Tiller or anything in any area of human endeavour. These skills will be required", Ahman-Pategi said.

The President of the Senate, Dr Bukola Saraki, who was spoke through the Senator representing Kwara South Senatorial District, Dr Rafiu Adebayo Ibrahim, praised Ahman-Pategi for taking a bold step in some of his initiatives, saying it was a sign of youth leadership, which has been championing.

Also speaking, the Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon Sulaimon Lasun Yusuff, described education as the bedrock of everything in life, saying there was nothing wrong with the establishment additional Universities in the country.

The event, which featured the commissioning of some projects at the proposed Ahman-Pategi University in Patigi, was attended by the Emir of Ilorin and Chairman, Kwara State Council of Chiefs, Alhaji Ibrahim Sulu-Gambari; Etsu Nupe; Etsu of Patigi, Alhaji Ibrahim Chatta Umar; Olofa of Offa, Oba Muftau Gbadamosi Esuwoye II; former Senator Issa Mohammed and former Minister of State for FCT, Mrs Olajumoke Akinjide among others.

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