Kuni Tyessi in Abuja
An erstwhile Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ghali Umar Na’Abba, has called on the federal government to revitalize Nigeria’s education system, especially at the basic level, as the country could regret not doing so in years to come.
He said revitalising the education system does not require the act of enacting or amending a particular law, as it is not up to the National Assembly to do anything, but the sole responsibility of the executive, noting that the budgetary allocation for the renovation of schools is controlled by the executive arm.
Na’Abba, who spoke in Abuja weekend during the opening of a school, Waldorf Knoll Academy, said what is important is the political will of the executive to be able to do what it is expected to do as it will be an enormous undertaking of the nation’s finances which has to be in full cycle with ministries and procurement, among others.
The former speaker, who said he has visited several primary and secondary schools in the past few years, lamented that it is a sad commentary on the state of the nation as classrooms, apart from not being befitting for the pupils and students, are helplessly overcrowded.
He said: “I believe that all the laws that are supposed to be in place for the improvement of standards are in place. What is important is for the executive arm to wake up to its responsibilities. For a very long time, infrastructure in the education system has been dilapidating, especially in primary and secondary schools.
“You will find out that in one classroom, there are over 100 students and no equipment and the buildings are not befitting for leaders of tomorrow and I believe in time, Nigeria will regret in terms of education all that is being faced today.
“Therefore, it is not up to the National Assembly to do anything, but the executive and to do what they are supposed to do. The National Assembly can only prompt the executive arm, which I believe they have been doing.
“It’s going to be an enormous undertaking for the finances of the country to be streamlined because a lot of work has to be done in full cycle with the government ministries, procurement and everything else. It’s not an act of enacting or amending a particular law.
“As things are today, because of the budgetary allocation for the repairs and renovation for the resuscitation of our schools are being controlled by the executive arm and so much has to be done.”
The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, in her speech, said the federal government is working very hard to ensure that Public Private Partnership (PPP) in the area of sports comes to fruition.
Represented by Hajiya Hauwa Yahaya, the minister said with the intervention of the government towards the scheme which is work in progress, all things work out fine with time.
In the event, which was well attended by Nigeria’s finest in football, had foremost Super Eagles defender, Taribo West, advising government at all levels to connect to the vision of the new school and ensure that sports is expressed and extended in the next level and also to see that life is brought into it.
“Government should come into this and ensure we have sports in development and education. Education should be integrated into sports. If you go to any part of the world, that’s the structure,” he added.
Others at the event were Daniel Amokachi and Austin Eguavoen, among other sports celebrities.