Ministers blame state governments for underdevelopment in Nigeria’s education sector

More than N52 billion in intervention funds for basic education had not been accessed by states.

The Supervising Minister of Education, Nyesom Wike, and the Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, have accused state governments of not playing their roles in the funding of basic education in Nigeria.

The ministers made this known in Abuja on Thursday at the Presentation of the Score Card of the Ministry of Education under the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan.

The Education Minister said that more than N52 billion in intervention funds for basic education had not been accessed by states, which failed to provide counterpart funding to access such funds.

He said the Federal Government was concerned about basic education, which fell under the purview of the states because “if you do not get the foundation right, you cannot succeed in building any structure.”

“In spite of the huge funds pumped into the sector by the present administration, the impact is not felt because states are not playing their roles,” Mr. Wike said.

Mr. Maku said the transformation agenda would not be achieved unless states accessed funds to develop education at the basic level.

He said the federal government could not do much until there was a certain level of commitment by the states saddled with the responsibility of developing the foundation of education.

He urged states, especially those in the north, to make education a priority if Nigeria was to move forward.

Meanwhile, Mr. Wike disclosed that the annual carrying capacity of federal universities in the country improved from less than 600,000 to one million in three years.

Mr. Wike said the Goodluck administration had established, within three years, 18 new federal universities across the country. He said that between 2010 and 2013 alone, N139 billion was expended on the sector for the development of infrastructure and the improvement of enrolment figures.

Mr. Wike also noted that in that same period, the administration had spent more than N4 billion to support states to educate pupils with special needs.


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