Former Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi has again lamented Nigeriaâ€™s poor attitude towards education, saying that even when compared to some African countries, Nigeria has not done well at all.
Obi made the observation at the weekend during the launch and fund- raising dinner for Dominican University, a newly established university owned by the Dominicans, at the Colonnade, Lagos.
Describing money put into education as investment, Obi said the problem with Nigerians is that they still see education as expenditure rather than investment in the future, adding that it had become clear from what countries that invested in education are reaping now that there is direct correlation between investment in education and economic growth.
Citing statistics to buttress his point, Obi said: South Africa, between 2010 and 2016 spent over 5 per cent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) on education; Egypt over 3.5 per cent and Nigeria could not even spend 1 per cent.â€
Insisting that poor investment in education produces adult illiterates and makes for low productivity in any nation, he said: â€œFrom 2010 to 2014, Nigerian budgeted N1.860 trillion on education, which at the rate of N160 to a dollar was 11.1 billion dollars. In 2015 and 2016, the budget was a total N761 billion, which at the rate of N360 to a dollar was 2.1 billion dollars. As you can see, it means that over a period of seven years, Nigeria with a population of about 190 million people spent 13.2 billion dollars on education.
â€œJuxtapose this with South Africa, the second biggest economy in Africa which with a population of 55 million, spent over 15 billion dollars on education in 2015 only and Egypt, the third biggest economy in Africa and with a population of 95 million spent about 12 billion in 2015 only. This shows that Nigeria is still sleeping as far as investment in education is concerned.â€
Corroborating Obiâ€™s statement, Anthony Cardinal Okojie said he had listened to Obi on several occasions and called on Nigerians to listen to him as he correctly understood the problems and solutions to many ills in the country.
In his keynote address, the National Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Abubakar Mohmoud regretted the collapse of education in the country, saying that the situation requires the collaboration of all Nigerians.
Also present at the event were Archbishop Alaba Job (Retd); Bishop Adewale Martins; Dr. ABC Orjiakor; Evelyn Opute, among others.