The House of Representatives has urged the Federal government to commence the implementation of free and compulsory education for primary and secondary school children.
According to the lawmakers, the number of out-of-school in the country, which has reached an alarming level of 10.5 million children spread across the country has made the implementation imperative and urgent.
As such, the House also urged the Federal government to invest more in teacher training, improve on student/teacher ratio as well as improve on educational infrastructure.
In addition, House Committee on Basic Education and Services has been mandated to take a critical look at the issue and come up with a solution that will stand the test of time.
This followed the adoption of a motion by Akinwunmi Olaitan (APC, Lagos) and Jimoh Olajide (APC, Lagos), who regretted that an International Labour Conference, held in Geneva, Switzerland in 2016 declared that Nigeria is one of the 10 countries in the world accounting for the majority of children deprived of access to education.
Olaitan, in his lead debate expressed concern that cultural factor, negative impact of insurgency on education in the Northeast, recent herdsmen/farmers clashes and inadequate provisions for public funded schools in general are the major factors responsible for this.
“The implications of this on our national development will increase crime rate, worsen the economy, exacerbate security issues and sooner, rather than later the social consequence may consume us as the multiplier effect of this in future is better imagined.
“It is worrisome that Nigeria in recent times has witnessed an unprecedented level of insecurity which has made national security threat to be a major issue for government and has prompted huge allocation of the national budget to security.
“This state of anxiety has further increased the rate of out-of-school children.
“It is equally disturbing that with the lingering security challenges and inability of the security apparatus of government to guarantee safety and security in the country, the question that bothers everyone in Nigeria today is can there be security?”.
The motion was unanimously adopted after it was put to a voice vote by Speaker Yakubu Dogara.