Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has called on governments at all levels, including education stakeholders to set machinery in motion toward coming up with policies and action plans needed to return 14 million out of school Nigerian children back to classrooms across the country.
He said it was deeply worrying that over 14 million children that should be in school were not in school, and thereby deprived of education needed for their progression in all spheres of life.
The former military general said that keeping future generations out of school portends danger for the country and that if such trend was not arrested with concerted efforts from governments and stakeholders, the nation might be climbing another ladder of negative statistics.
Speaking when the leadership of the Freelance and Independent Broadcasters Association of Nigeria (FIBAN), led by the National President, Comr. Desmond Nwachukwu paid him a courtesy call at his Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) Pent House residence in Abeokuta, Ogun State on Monday, Obasanjo stressed that solutions must be devised at every level and across different sectors to end cycle of out-of-school children.
The former president who admitted that education played a major role in feat achieved by the President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, with his reelection for a second term of five years at the financial institution, said that such would not be achieved in the future if children are being kept out of school.
“If Adesina had not gone to school, no matter the innate ability God might have given him, he would not have got to where he is today. So, the first thing is how do we get about 14m children, who are out of school now back to school. 14m children who should have been in school, undergoing education training that will make them contribute to the development of the country in the near future.
“It is having good education, that will make them a good product to market in the global world like Adesina. Not only him, we have several like him, including the AFRISM President, Dr. Oramah,” Obasanjo was quoted to have said in a statement released by his Media Aide, Kehinde Akinyemi.
Furthermore, the former president commended President Muhammed Buhari’s led Federal Government for the support given at ensuring successful re-election of Adesina.
Obasanjo who was responding to remarks made by the FIBAN President on the support given to Adesina, added that education played a vital role in the success so far made by him and other Nigerians doing the country proud in their different endeavour.
“I must commend the Federal government for the support given to him to get this second term ticket. You know that the former President, Goodluck Jonathan recommended him before this new government came on board. The government could have rejected him. So, I must commend the President for supporting him all through.
“Also, let me acknowledged and commended some of my colleagues, the 14 former Presidents in Africa for joining me immediately I drew their attention to it. Some present Presidents also deserved commendations too,” Obasanjo said.
The FIBAN national president had earlier disclosed that the former president’s penchant for grooming talents for leadership positions led to the emergence of Adesina, and as such, “the association is therefore using this opportunity to congratulate you on the historic re-election of Adesina.
“And we are ready to make our doors opened for you to equally tap from many of our qualified members for such leadership positions.”