Billy Graham Abel, Yola
Former Vice President of Nigeria and PDP presidential candidate in the 2019 general elections, Atiku Abubakar, has slammed the Buhari administration over its penchant for loans.
Not sparing the President his scathing remarks, Mr Abubakar said: “As a businessman, the first lesson one learns in business is to shun taking loans except it is to expand the business; in addition, there is no justification for taking out loans to pay salaries while you are not investing in your future generation.”
He called on the Federal Government and the federating units to focus their energies on education as a key sector.
The former VP criticised the President over what he observed to be poor funding of the country’s education sector.
He maintained that the APC-led government’s low budgetary allocation to the education sector completely belies the Buhari’s government claims of intentions to defeat terrorism in a country with high levels of illiteracy.
Mr Atiku made this known at the annual Founders Day event hosted by American University of Nigeria at the weekend in Yola, Adamawa State.
Mr Atiku noted that Buhari’s less-than-ten per cent budgetary allocation to education was below the 15 percent minimum standard recommended for developing countries by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
“The reason why the country is experiencing insecurity is because of poverty, which is the product of illiteracy, and it is a cycle that the country can only break by educating the citizenry,” Atiku remarked.
“Investment in education will take Nigeria to the level of unprecedented development.”
The former Vice President described education as “a pathway to exit the dubious record of being the world’s headquarters of extreme poverty.”
He pointed out that Nigeria cannot grow if government fails to invest in education at all levels.
Mr Atiku regretted that the record of the past four years of budgetary allocation to the education sector by government indicates that developing the minds of Nigerians has not been its priority. He called on government at all levels to increase funding for education.