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Boko Haram: Education, employment are solutions, Kwankwaso says

“We are aware now that talks about insecurity are incomplete without tackling its root causes of illiteracy and unemployment.”

The Governor of Kano State, Rabi’u Kwankwaso, has stated that governments at all levels must pay serious attention to education and job creation for the youth as ways of addressing the lingering insecurity in the country.

He said governments at all levels must improve funding of education and training of the youth to become self reliant in order to drastically reduce youth restiveness and engagement in crime and anti-social behaviours.

Mr. Kwankwaso made the assertion on Monday at the 2nd Progressive Governance Lecture series, organized by the Progressive Governors Forum at Africa House, Government House, Kano.

The Progressive Governors Forum comprises governors who are members of the All Progressives Congress, APC.

Mr. Kwankwaso, who spoke against the backdrop of the theme of the lecture ‘Crisis in Nigeria’s Education Sector: Addressing the Connect between Unemployment and Insecurity’, maintained that “no nation can progress and exist peacefully with a crisis ridden sector of education like that of Nigeria.”

To address the problem of education in Kano State, he stated that his administration has declared free education at all levels and had also built about 3000 classroom blocks in primary schools. He said his administration also placed emphasis on teacher training, provision of teaching and learning materials, as well as provision of infrastructure.

Apart from establishing 24 institutes including the Northwest University in addition to Wudil University of Science and Technology in the state, which have so far graduated at least 40,000 young men and women, Mr. Kwankwaso noted that his government has sponsored over 2,000 Kano indigenes to bag masters and PhD degrees in 14 countries across the world.

“Even within the country, thousands of the Kano indigenes have been given scholarships to study in public universities while about 1,000 are currently studying in private universities like Bells University of Technology, Otta, and Crescent University, both in Ogun State,” the governor added.

In his speech, the chairman of the occasion and first civilian governor of Abia State, Ogbonnaya Onu, lamented that the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, administration has failed the people of Nigeria and that the best solution to Nigeria’s socio-political and economic woes is a change of government in 2015.

He noted that the PDP has been in power for 16 years, but regretted that Nigeria as a country has stagnated in terms of meaningful development. Thus, he said, his party, the APC, has all the credentials to produce good governance and make Nigeria a better country in 2015.

“APC is the biggest opposition party in the history of our country; and ready to respond to the needs of our people. APC is no longer just a party, but it has become a movement. Whatever we do, we must listen to the cries of our people. We must constantly study the mood of the nation. We must move along instead of trying to move against the collective will of our people. We should never think that we have already won an election that is yet to be contested,” Mr. Onu, a former National Chairman of the defunct All Nigeria Peoples Party, ANPP, said

In his comment, former Head of State, Muhammad Buhari, accused the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan of not budgeting enough to the education sector, lamenting that in recent years, there has been crisis after crisis in the sector with no concrete solution in sight.

“In terms of priority, what the country needs is quality education for development. It requires great vision and foresight to accord education a rightful place in budget priority. I recalled that our founding fathers provided 40 per cent to education.

“Without education one has only limited opportunity for employment. Today in Nigeria, even with a university degree, the opportunities are still very limited. Our teeming youth need to be provided with jobs not only in agriculture and industry but in public works, infrastructure buildings, urban renewal and self employment; otherwise our security situation will worsen with great consequences to the social instability,” Mr. Buhari said.

Also speaking, the Governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Amaechi, said there is a whole lot of difference between the PDP and APC He said if APC had controlled the federal government, the billions of naira being allegedly siphoned under the PDP government would have been used to provide free and qualitative education for Nigerians.

Mr. Amaechi, who also spoke on the crisis in the education sector in Nigeria, insisted that corruption is the major source of bad leadership in the country.

He said if there is no poverty, unemployment, and illiteracy, there certainly will be no Boko Haram, insurgency, and insecurity in the country today.

Earlier, Chairman of Progressive Governors Forum, PGF, Rochas Okorocha, frowned at the spate of insecurity in the country and called on politicians irrespective of party affiliations to come together and fight the scourge.

Mr. Okorocha also announced that the PGF has already donated N100 million to the families of Nyanya bombings, adding that the progressive governors have also decided to help in rebuilding destroyed schools in Borno State.

The Imo Governor also spoke about the abduction of over 200 girls at Chibok, Borno State, insisting that now is the time for all Nigerians to come together and ensure the release of the students.

According to him, the theme of the lecture was chosen in line with the mandate of the Progressive Governors’ Lecture series to bring to the fore and work towards eradicating certain national problems.

“The problem of unemployment generally has been linked to so many factors around education; ranging from the quality of institutions, quality of instruction givers and the knowledge they pass across; to the willingness of the students to learn.

“We are aware now that talks about insecurity are incomplete without tackling its root causes of illiteracy and unemployment. Many may argue about the place of education in wealth creation but the truth remains that understanding comes with proper enlightenment,” he noted.

Others who spoke during the occasion were former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, Governor Adams Oshiomole of Edo State, and Ahmed Illyasu of the Department of Education, Bayero University Kano, BUK, who delivered the main lecture.

The lecture was also attended by Governors Abdulfattah Ahmad (Kwara), Murtala Nyako (Adamawa), Aliyu Wammako (Sokoto), Abiola Ajimobi (Oyo), Abdulaziz Yari (Zamfara), Ibrahim Gaidam (Yobe), former Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Nasir el-Rufai, and members of the National Assembly, among other APC leaders.

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