The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo has highlighted The Only Way Buhari govt can end poverty in nigeria.
Osinbajo pointed out that resolving the educational challenges in Nigeria will bring an end to the level of poverty in the country.
He made the disclosure while speaking at the 2019 Nigeria Annual Education Conference yesterday and was contained in a statement signed and sent to DAILY POST by his spokesperson, Laolu Akande.
According to Osinbajo: “Education reduces economic inequalities. It was found that if workers from poor and rich backgrounds received the same education, the disparity between the two in terms of their inequality in earning is decreased by as much as almost 40%.
“There is a logical link between education and poverty, and of course extreme poverty and mortality is also connected without any doubt at all. It is up to us, not just the government but every one of us must feel mandated by history to do something concrete about the education of our children.”
Read full text of his speech below:
It really is a special pleasure to join you at this 2019 Nigeria Annual Education Conference. I think that the theme is a very appropriate one, but it comes at a time when our nation is confronted with crucial choices that have to be made as we plot our path to what is possibly the most significant two or three decades in our national history.
In a few decades, we will possibly be the third most populous country in the world. We would also have one of the youngest populations in the world. And we stand a chance of becoming the undisputed most developed African nation on earth. Or perhaps one of the most advanced economies in world. We are in that fortunate position because of our natural endowments, the incredible possibilities that technology and innovation offer to redefine our economy for growth, and the real opportunities to leapfrog over generations just on the account of technology in this whole development story.
But most importantly, the potential of our people, the potential of the Nigerian person, children today and so many, who are coming behind. But we are also confronted by fundamental challenges. A large population of out-of-school children, and a huge percentage of that number who are girls, of course we know that the female population is about 50% of our total population; some even say more than 50%. And then, there is a dearth of teachers, complicated by poor quality of teachers.
In addition, years of neglect of education at both Federal and State levels resulting in very poor infrastructure, very little has been invested compared to the overall picture. The other challenge is that of extreme poverty and its innumerable consequences for health, wellbeing of the majority of Nigerians and resulting vicious cycle of low productivity, poor human development outcomes and increasing poverty.
The challenges of poverty and poor educational outcomes are directly connected. A UNESCO Global Education Monitoring Report which details that connection and provides some important evidence on the impact of education on individual’s earnings and economic growth and among other things that the report found is that:
Education reduces poverty and that absolute poverty could be reduced by as much as 30% from learning improvements alone. It says also that education increases individual earnings, as it increases earnings by roughly 10% per each additional year of schooling. Indeed, for each $1 invested in an additional year of schooling earnings increase by $5 in low-income countries and $2.5 in lower-middle-income countries.
Education reduces economic inequalities. It was found that if workers from poor and rich backgrounds received the same education, the disparity between the two in terms of their inequality in earning is decreased by as much as almost 40%.
Education promotes economic growth as educational attainment explained about half of the difference in growth rates between East Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. There is no question at all that there is a direct link between education and extreme poverty that we find ourselves in.
In responding to this twin challenge, President Buhari made two crucial commitments within the same month. On June 12 2019, he declared that the crucial objective of our administration in this second term is to take a 100 million Nigerians out of poverty within the next ten years. And on June 20th, 2019 while inaugurating the National Economic Council, he also made another commitment which is that the Federal Government will work with the States, to ensure the enforcement of free and compulsory education in the first nine years of a child’s school life. Because this is a law, failure to ensure the enforcement of free and compulsory education is criminal and punishable by imprisonment.
So, to resolve the educational challenge is to resolve the poverty challenge. The choices that lie before us are clear; investing in relevant education, by that I mean education that would equip the child with the best possible skills. Today, digital, civic and innovative skills, education that equips to function optimally in a world that is increasingly been defined by the developments in what is called the “Fourth Industrial Revolution.” The policy responses led by the Ministry of Education, in my view, have been thoughtful and robust. The Education for Change Strategy (2018-2022) deserves commendation. Through this approach, deliberate steps have commenced action in certain priority areas: I will mention just a few of them: