A major way out of the myriad of social, economic, and political problems bedeviling Nigeria is investment in the nation’s education sector, according to former Vice-President of Nigeria, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
The former Vice president’s view was also echoed by former Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki and the National Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party, (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, at the launching of an educational foundation, instituted by former acting national chairman of PDP, Abubakar Kawu Baraje, at a ceremony held on Thursday in Abuja.
Atiku, Saraki and Secondus spoke at the launching of Baraje’s Foundation. In his speech, the former Vice-President said the foundation came at the right time in view of the need to “salvage our frail nation from the resultant negative impact of poor public investment in Human Capital Development, as evidenced in our abysmal ranking in the global Human Capital Development index.”
Atiku attributed the “large army of out of school children, legion of the unemployed, rampaging insecurity, rising poverty rate and persistent underdevelopment” to the poor investment in education by government.
“This calls for all hands to be on deck to break the vicious circle of illiteracy, unemployment, poverty and insecurity that has imprisoned our youth and nation as a whole” “This can be achieved if we continue to advocate for increased public and private investment in youth development and empowerment. It is a step that should be taken with all sense of urgency. ” he advised. He lamented that “as at the second quarter of 2020, according to the National Bureau of Statistics, 13.9 million Nigerian youths are unemployed. It further shows that the highest unemployment rate was recorded for youths between 15 — 24 years ( 40.8 per cent) and followed by ages 25 — 34 years (30.7 per cent).
In his speech at the occasion Saraki said security challenges in the land is due largely to the neglect of youths over the years. He charged government at all levels as well as traditional rulers to invest more in moral and spiritual education of the youths. Similarly, Secondus chided the nation’s leaders for doing too little in the area of investment in education.
“The country is in distress and we need to be putting down something that can reverse the trends “This is a foundation that will groom new leadership for Nigeria and the world. Our leaders lack mentorship and that is the problem. And that is why they get into office and the next thing they do is stealing of public funds.” Secondus added. The Abubakar Kawu Baraje Foundation, according to its founder is aimed at providing quality education at no cost to children of the less privileged in the society.