President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday in Abuja urged State Governors to “enforce very vigorously” free and compulsory basic education for every child of primary and junior secondary school age.
The President also urged the Governors to pay special attention to security, health and agriculture in the next four years of this administration.
Inaugurating the National Economic Council (NEC) at the Presidential Villa, President Buhari reminded the governors that providing free and compulsory education is a constitutional provision.
“Section 18(3) of the 1999 Constitution as amended places on all of us here an obligation to eradicate illiteracy and provide free and compulsory education.
“Section 2 of the Compulsory, Free Universal Basic Education Act provides that every government in Nigeria shall provide free, compulsory and universal basic education for every child of primary and junior secondary school age.
“It is indeed a crime for any parent to keep his child out of school for this period. In my view, when a government fails to provide the schools, teachers and teaching materials necessary for basic education, it is actually aiding and abetting that crime.
“This is, therefore, a call to action. I would like to see every Governor rise from this meeting and rally his local Government Chairmen towards ensuring that our schools offer the right opportunities and provide the needed materials and teachers for basic education, at the minimum.
“If we are able to do this, the benefits will surely manifest themselves,” the President said in his 24-paragraph speech at the inaugural session of NEC.
The President told the governors that successes in the four key areas of education, security, health and agriculture would go a long in lifting Nigerians out poverty, and securing the future for sustainable growth and development.