…As Gov. Okowa blames poverty, unchecked population growth for nation’s insecurity***
The Niger State House Assembly Committee on Education, Science and Technology may be inching towards a reason for the State’s educational backwardness, as it unravel that only 7 per cent of N840.516 million education allocation of the 2019 budget was released to the state Ministry of Education.
Malam Suleiman Gambo, Chairman of the Committee and Member Representing Paiko Constituency, disclosed this during the presentation of a report at a plenary in Minna on Wednesday.
The house had in August mandated the committee to perform oversight function by interfacing with stakeholders.
They were also mandated to visit affected schools to ascertain the level of development and areas needing improvement.
Gambo explained that the committee discovered that many primary, junior and secondary schools across the state were dilapidated.
He added that the dilapidation was caused by natural disasters, while others were as a result of neglect.
The chairman also said that N1.3 billion spent by the state government to renovate nine schools under the Whole School Development Approach, three out of those schools were yet to be completed.
He listed the schools not renovated to include; Government Day Science College, Baro, Government Girls Secondary School, Tegina and Mu’azu Ibrahim Commercial Secondary School, Kontagora.
Gambo added that there was inadequate furniture for teachers and pupils as about 70 per cent of pupils in primary schools were sitting on bare floors.
Reading the recommendations of the committee, Mr Abdullahi Wuse, Speaker of the House, said the ministry and the state SUBEB should engage to see to the development of the education sector in the state.
Wuse also urged proper monitoring while carrying out rehabilitation of schools especially in rural areas to reduce cost.
In another development, Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta on Wednesday blamed the high rate of poverty and geometric rise in population for the security challenges.
He said these were inhibiting the socio-economic development of the nation.
The governor stated this when the Country’s Representative of Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS), Mr Vladimir Kreck, and the Director-General of the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS), Prof. Abubakar Suleiman, paid him a courtesy visit in Asaba.
Okowa said that there was the need to look at the totality of the governance approach to security reforms and not just about security agencies.
“Many a time, we blame the security agencies, rather than addressing the root causes of the challenges.
“The nation must address the critical issues concerning poverty and unemployment as well as the growing family size as a way of tackling insecurity in the country,” Okowa said.
The governor thanked the Country’s Representative of KAS for his promise to give support in the area of security sector reforms.
He said that the nation needed reforms in the security sector to mitigate its security challenges.
“The security situation in the country is as a result of the multiplicity of challenges that we have.
“The unemployment situation is high, there is no doubt; the level of education is low.
“So, when there is a lot of ignorance, the poverty rate is high and when you have a combination of all these, and more importantly is the fact that the population size is high.”
He said that when poverty is combined with high population, it would lead to a very big problem, because one would be giving room to families that would continue to breed more and more poverty.
“It creates a situation that the country would find very difficult to manage and that is exactly where we are heading to.
“So, it is important that we look into the entire foundation to ascertain where we had gone wrong.
“As we address the reforms in terms of approach, information gathering and even going into modern architecture, we must address the issues concerning poverty and unemployment and the growing family size,” he said.
He said that until Nigerians were able to address the root cause of security challenges which borders on poverty, unemployment and the growing family size, they might not be able to tackle security issues frontally.
“As populated as Nigeria is, the more secure that we are as a country, the better for the world because if we are not able to secure ourselves, we will create problems not only for ourselves, we create problems for the world.
“So, I pray that your assistance will help in one way or the other to help lighten the security burden that we have at the moment.
“With the cooperation of both national and sub-national governments, I am sure that we will definitely be in a position to begin to carry out reforms that will gradually change the scenario as we see it as today, because it is not the best,” he said.
Okowa applauded the NILDS and KAS for their unwavering commitment toward building a strong legislative capacity in the country.
“I want to appreciate you, people, for offering the services that you offer. I must also appreciate the NILDS because you have upped your games in trying to reach out to improve legislative capacity across the nation,” he said.
Earlier, Mr Vladimir Kreck said that the mandate of the German Foundation was to support democracy and good governance, adding that they were in the state to promote the capacity of the legislature through training workshops.
He, therefore, commended Okowa for sustained support to the state legislature, in order to build capacity through training.