Tunde Omolehin, Sokoto
Professor Adams Agahiu is a director at National Education Academy and a senior lecturer at the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN).
He speaks on the current political discourse and what government can do to revamp the education sector.
Opposition parties have called on the judiciary not to swear in President Muhammadu Buhari on May 29th until the outcome of the tribunal judgment?
Once President Buhari has won the election, people should come out and support him. Whatever the opponents may be planning against his government would not succeed. It is only Buhari that would move this nation forward and Nigerians have voted for him massively, so no group of people can stop him for the next four years. I’m not just speaking in favour of President Buhari, but he has done tremendously well and he is financially disciplined to move the nation forward.
How should his cabinet look like in this second term?
Yes, although he didn’t appoint his cabinet early during his first term in office, he has said those things would change this time around. My advice to the president is that he should appoint technocrats and credible politicians as members of his cabinet in order to fulfil his agenda for the nation. These would include those who have educational requirements and experience to move the nation forward.
What do you think should be Buhari’s agenda in his second term?
His present agenda boils down on his achievements in his first four years in office. For instance, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has ruled Kogi State for over 16 years with nothing to show for it. But right now under President Muhammadu Buhari he is gradually bringing democracy back to the state. Improvement on the fight against corruption is part of his agenda in this second term. Also on education, he has asked the minister to ensure that the school curriculum is re-worked to suit the purpose of vocational studies. In terms of road construction, the president is doing tremendously well in this field and he would do more this time around. He has also planned the construction of dry ports in Kaduna, Lokoja, Port-Harcourt and many other cities.
How can the escalating insecurity challange be solved?
President Muhammadu Buhari has put in more efforts that these insecurity issues would be put to rest soonest. He plans to contain insecurity in no time to ensure that they do not spread to other parts of the country. We should know that insecurity of lives and properties are not limited to the North alone, kidnappings and high scale robberies also take place in South West and South East states. The Federal Government has continuously met with his security chiefs in order to end these insecurity challenges in all parts of the nation including the southern parts of the country. Therefore, Nigerians should give him more time to be able to restore our past glory soonest.
Some have scored President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption crusade high. What is your assessment?
What Buhari is doing, no other president has ever attempted to do so. The corruption we are talking about has been with Nigeria for many decades and other presidents have fought many fruitless battles. But Buhari is the only president that has ever attempted to confront this. Although, we know those who looted the money are fighting back, making it look like Buhari is not doing well, but he is doing better than other former presidents and I know what he is doing now would translate into making Nigeria a highly industrialised nation.
As an academic, what is your general view of the education system in Nigeria?
Generally, as I spoke before, I had my education abroad but I also had my elementary education in Nigeria and I had the experiences. First and foremost, we need to be disciplined because indiscipline is the bane of educational laxities which has caused the nation its woes in terms of educational development especially examination malpractices, kidnappings and other bad habits which arise from acts of indiscipline. Therefore, how to curb indiscipline among our teachers and students is what is in President Buhari’s mind to keep the students busy. In my own opinion, the government should fund education in Nigeria better than what we have today.
The Federal Government needs to assist states with less educational advantages with funding. Also there is need to emphasise more on vocational studies in Secondary and Tertiary institutions in order to improve on our educational standards. For the country to move forward, we need to employ both the educated and the un-educated.
How did you think ASUU/Federal Government lingering issue can be resolved?
Academic Staff Union of Universities’ (ASUU) problem has been lingering for long and it did not begin with this present government. In my own view, Federal Government should fund ASUU and fulfil its promises to the union. However, the outgoing minister of education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, has promised to settle all lingering issues with the union before the end of this year.
You hail from Kogi State. How can the government revamp its education sector?
As someone who is vast in experience in terms of educational exposure, there are many things that are responsible for the collapse of education in my state.
First, we need to found our education better than what we have now; we need to be more digitalised and we must also be proactive in improving our education. For instance PDP have ruled the state for years and there were no improvements but now things are changing gradually under President Buhari.