Two non-governmental organisations, Connected Development (CODE) and Public and Private Development Centre (PPDC), have condemned the delay in the passage of the Universal Basic Education Act by the House of Representatives.
The call was made by the two organisations while forging a partnership in a bid to improve transparency and accountability in Nigeria’s public procurement and contract implementation practices, in the health, education and environment sector, through a more structured and robust citizen engagement.
To further strengthen this tie, and to pursue the move for the need for education for all, even at the grassroots, CODE has affirmed former housemate of Big Brother Naija, Leo Babarinde, popularly known as Leo Da Silva, as its Ambassador.
While speaking, Nkem Ilo, CEO of PPDC, said that, there needs to be more transparency from the federal and state governments on how funds allocated for education, health etc are utilised.
“A lot of money is set aside for education, health, etc, but how many translate into physical infrastructure on ground? Many schools don’t have tables, chairs, and other necessary facilities. Hospitals also, don’t have enough facilities to take proper care of their patients. And the house of representatives is delaying in amending the Universal Basic Education Act in order for more of these children to continue their education. Are we planning to breed out of school children, criminals, terrorists?”
The CEO of CODE, Hamzat Lawal, also declared that if the house of representatives does not pass the UBE Act early enough, Nigeria might not meet the sustainable development goal it signed up on.
“The House of Representatives is yet to pass the UBE Act, and if this delays, Nigeria might not meet the sustainable development goal it signed up on. We need to be deliberate in our approach. Nigeria is a fragile state. This is because we haven’t given enough priority to education.”
Also buttressing his point, Ambassador Leo Babrinde, popularly known as Leo Da Silva, said that Education is the greatest form of empowerment because it is the only means of putting food on one’s table.
“I am passionate about empowerment but education is the greatest form of empowerment because it is only through education that you can feed and take care of yourself. We need to tell our government that our policymaking is not enough. We can’t continue to increase our budget while the percentage allocated to education remains the same.