- Drama as ministers debunk rumours of clash
Paul Obi in Abuja
The federal government monday launched a new three-year education strategic plan for the country, stretching between 2016 and 2019.
The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, at the launch of the plan known as ‘Education for Change: A Ministerial Strategic Plan 2016-2019’, said it was strategic to the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s change agenda.
“No nation can achieve economic prosperity without a sound and functional education system; and knowing full well that the security and stability of our country depends on its ability to provide functional education to its citizens; bearing in mind the key to fighting unemployment.
“While the world is producing professionals, Nigeria is still grappling and leading the world with the highest number of out-of-school children that are roaming the streets, “ Adamu said.
The minister stated that the plan is “the objectives of the All Progressives Congress (APC) set out to fine tone the sector.”
He added that the new plan seeks to address the various existing gaps in the education sector to attain optimum results.
The Minister of State for Education, Prof. Anthony Anwukah, on his ports, explained that the new plan seeks to enthrone “equity and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all, as declared in our global education agenda, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 4.”
Anwukah stressed that the new plan needed to strengthening to ensure that the vulnerables are included.
The Permanent Secretary, Dr. Folashade Esan, said the ministry has been repositioned to deliver on its strategic plan and scale up government’s performance in the sector.
Esan harped on the need for concerted efforts to ensure positive result, given the critical role, the new strategic plan would have on the education sector.
Meanwhile, mild drama ensued at the launch when Adamu and Minister of State for Education, Prof. Anwukah, denied rumour of any ongoing rift between them since their assumption of office.
In what would appear as a strategy to downplay the rumours about the rift, both ministers at the venue of the presentation of insisted that they were and would continue to be great friends.
Adamu accused journalists of being responsible for the rumours which he maintained was targeted at generating headlines that would increase the sales of newspapers and also pull media traffic to the various media outfits in the country.
He said: “This is the creation of journalists. I don’t think that there is any two ministers in this country who are working as closely as Tony and I are doing because we have never disagreed.
“Somebody was asking me a question and that question was actually designed to get a headline and probably somebody wants a headline that is why they said we are quarrelling me and him and unfortunately on that day also, I forgot that you sent Obioma to represent you and didn’t recognise his presence. They want to sell their papers.
“Tony and I, I don’t think I have seen public servants who don’t have any personal agenda. If you don’t have any personal agenda you will never have quarrel with anyone and I think our duty is to try to move the education sector forward, that is all,” he added.
In an aggressive manner, Anwukah called on journalists to desist from fabricating stories to create non-existent problems between himself and his principal, Adamu.
Speaking on his absence during the launch of the National Education Quality Education Assurance Handbook on August 9 he said: “The press should stop inventing imaginary things.
“The day in question we have had another appointment with Nigerian Breweries and Nigerian Breweries is an outfit that conducts the best teachers’ Maltina award. By 10a.m. they were supposed to be in the office and I had to receive them. I cannot be in two places at the same time so the press is uninformed.”
On his letter of resignation to the presidency through the SGF, Anwukah furiously told journalists “This is absolute nonsense, it is stupid. There is no such thing that existed. I never did anytime.
“We are all Nigerians press or no press; I hate stupid insinuations no matter where it comes, from the press or otherwise. The press should please mind its dutiful responsibilities. I sent a letter to who? Get me a copy of the letter from where.
“The press from today, keep it in your brains and in your books and your pen, there can be no better friend I have in Abuja than this man so if you make your insinuations try to find problems where there are no problems, it won’t create the problem, please, please,” Anwukah stated.