President Muhammadu Buhari has called on all State Governor to place priority on education for the next four years of this administration.
He said it becomes a criminal offense for any parent to keep their children out of school especially in the first nine years of basic education.
President Buhari stated this on thursday in his remarks after inaugurating the 2019 to 2023 National Economic Council, NEC at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja. The President who urged the state governors to ensure the enforcement of compulsory basic education in their various states also told them to pay great attention to security, health, education and agriculture so as to guarantee a peaceful and prosperous Nigeria.
He said, “On education, I want to stress in particular the need to take very seriously and enforce very rigorously the statutory provisions on free and compulsory basic education. Section 18(3) of the 1999 Constitution as amended places on all of us here an obligation to eradicate illiteracy and provide free and compulsory education. “Section 2 of the Compulsory, Free Universal Basic Education Act provides that every Government in Nigeria shall provide free, compulsory and universal basic education for every child of primary and junior secondary school age.
“It is indeed a crime for any parent to keep his child out of school for this period. In my view, when a government fails to provide the schools, teachers and teaching materials necessary for basic education, it is actually aiding and abetting that crime.
“This is therefore a call to action. I would like to see every Governor rise from this meeting and rally his local Government Chairmen towards ensuring that our schools offer the right opportunities and provide the needed materials and teachers for basic education, at the minimum.
“If we are able to do this, the benefits will surely manifest themselves. How W/Africa can succeed in battle against criminals, criminality
“Ensuring proper education during the first nine years of schooling means that our children start off their lives with some discipline and education. They will be safeguarded from roaming the streets, and protected from all the evil influences that assail idle hands and idle minds. “Whatever they choose to do thereafter, children with basic education will be better prepared to learn and to appreciate their own role in society. This will also go a long way in solving our security and other anti-social problems, which are often the manifestations of early delinquency. “I therefore think every Governor here should make a firm commitment to be personally involved in ensuring that every child of school age actually goes to school throughout the crucial nine years of basic education.”
According to the President, NEC was established by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999), as amended.