The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, has urged governments at all levels to fashion out ways of transforming the educational sector to strengthen the capacity of Nigerian youth.
In a message to commemorate the International Youth Day, the speaker noted that the essence of education was to proffer solutions to challenges confronting society.
The statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Lanre Lasisi, was made available to newsmen last Monday in Abuja.
The theme for the 2019 International Youth Day is: ‘Transforming Education.’
According to him, governments at all levels have the primary responsibility of ensuring that every Nigerian is given access to basic and qualitative education.
He said that democracy and good governance would thrive in an atmosphere where a sizeable proportion of the populace was educated and well enlightened about their civic responsibilities.
While assuring Nigerians that the 9th House of Representatives under his leadership would prioritise issues concerning the education sector, Gbajabiamila emphasised that revamping the sector had become imperative.
Gbajabiamila had, in 2016, during his tenure as the House Majority Leader in the 8th assembly, sponsored a bill to provide access to higher education for Nigerians through interest-free loans.
The bill, which has been reintroduced in the 9th assembly and has gone through first reading, proposed a Nigeria Education Bank.
The bank, when established, is expected to provide educational support for all Nigerians without any discrimination.
“As we celebrate the International Youth Day, I intend to use the office of the speaker and the instrumentality of the law to fast-track passage of this and other bills that are capable of restoring hope to our youths.
“The idea is to reposition the youths for the tasks of nation-building and global competitiveness.
“It is indisputable that global economy is knowledge-driven, while the private sector has continued to play a leading and pivotal role in the economic development of states and nations.
“This is why we need to transform the Nigerian educational system and why the youths should be encouraged to broaden their skills,” he said.
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A former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olabode George has urged federal government to relax the lockdown it imposed on Lagos State as a result of COVID- 19 pandemic.
George, who made the call in a statement in Lagos, yesterday said the lockdown imposed since March 29 was adversely affecting livelihoods and bringing up security challenges.
He said though government intended to curb the spread of the virus with the lockdown, the directive had left many Nigerians hungry at home without palliatives.
The PDP chieftain noted that there must be a balance between curbing the spread of the virus and protecting livelihoods and asked the government to relax the lockdown while putting safety measures in place.
“Everywhere in Lagos is now locked down. The markets, banking halls, the local grocery shops, the supermarkets, the transportation services are all halted, frozen by the federal government directives since March 29.
“On the surface level, the federal government’s position is to ensure safety, prevent communal spread of the virus and banish this scourge from our shores.
“Lagosians have been staying at home for about a month now. In a largely informal economy where most of our people depend on daily wages, the burden of lack of income is devastating.
“There is a natural growing anger in Lagos as the most vulnerable are ravaged with hunger,” George said.
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