A Human Rights lawyer, Femi Falana Sunday, explained how the National Assembly can urgently address the basic education needs of about 18.5 million out-of-school children in Nigeria.
Falana in a statement lamented that lawmakers have been making needless resolutions that have not translated to promotion of universal access to basic education.
Falana opined that since each of the 36 States of the Federation have adopted the Child’s Rights Act and enacted a Child’s Right Law, it is the joint responsibility of the Federal, State and Local Governments to ensure that every Nigerian child is given access to free and compulsory education.
He noted, however, that relevant laws have been breached by stakeholders because the members of the political class drawn from all registered political parties have not demonstrated any commitment to the education of every child in Nigeria.
“Hence, the members of the legislative and executive organs of governments have allegedly failed to appreciate the danger of having 18.5 million out-of-school children, the highest number in the world,” Falana stated.
In view of this, the senior lawyer called for Constitution amendment to urgently fix the loopholes negatively affecting basic education in Nigeria.
He added, “What the National Assembly should do instead is address the refusal of state governments to make counterpart contributions to the Universal Basic Education Fund pursuant to section 2 of the Compulsory Free Universal Basic Education Act.
“As a matter of urgency, the National Assembly should ensure the amendment of the Constitution to empower the Accountant-General of the Federation to deduct from the source the counterpart fund payable by every state government to the Universal Basic Education Fund,” he stated.