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Buhari says Nigeria’s elite has failed by not providing better education for young people

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari says Nigeria’s elite have failed by not providing better education for the young people.

Buhari said this when he hosted Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and other security agency heads, to a breaking of fast on Monday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He said he feels hurt whenever he sees little children commonly referred to as Almajiri begging along the road.

“When I drive around the country what upset me very much is the status of our poor people in this country – you see young people, the so-called Almajiris with torn dresses, with plastic bowl. They are looking basically for what to eat,” Buhari said.

“The question of education (to them) is a luxury. I think Nigerian elite, we are all failing because I think we should have a programme that will at least guarantee some basic education for our people no matter how poor they are.”

The president commended Osinbajo for the free school programme which his office has been overseeing, saying it has improved the enrolment into schools across the country since the pupils are now guaranteed of at least one good meal a day.

“But, culturally some of us are quite merciless, we don’t care about what happens to others we just keep on moving forward,” Buhari added rather sadly.

He called on the elite to initiate programmes that will guarantee some basic education for young people regardless of their poverty level.

Osinbajo, who spoke on behalf of the members of the cabinet, appreciated the president for inviting them, both Muslims and Christians, to the breaking of fast with him.

He added that regardless of ethnic and religious affiliations, “Nigerians must continue to be their brothers’ keepers and must work towards building a united nation”.

Nigeria’s education sector has not fared any better since the Buhari administration took power in 2015. Between then and now, the budgetary allocation to the sector has not exceeded seven per cent of the entire budget every year.

Also, a programme begun by the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan, which was aimed at modernising the Almajiri system, has been abandoned.

The programme which was launched in April 2012 saw modern schools constructed across several states of Northern Nigeria where the almajiris were enrolled, projects that gulped billions of naira. However, reports show that the schools have either been abandoned and have become dilapidated.

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