Former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar has accused the federal government of neglecting the education sector and the non-provision of basic amenities of life which he said are the reasons behind the alarming rate of school drop out in the country.
Abubakar, who raised the alarm in Yola at the American University of Nigeria (AUN) 12th annual Founder’s Day and commissioning ceremonies for 2017, observed that the disturbing rate of Nigerian youths roaming the streets without going to schools is a serious and dangerous challenge that must be addressed forthwith.
He, however, noted that the teeming youths are the future of the country and must be given necessary potential to face the global speed in the scheme of things, saying that during their tenure of office, they passed the laws for compulsory and free education to children in the country.
He also expressed his continued support in developing education even as an individual, calling on state and federal governments to invest heavily in the sector so as to have enough educated manpower.
In her welcome address, the President of the university, Dr. Dawn Dekle, said the institution was established 13 years ago to offer a world-class, American style university education to Nigerians and African youths.
“AUN’s approach is rooted in the liberal arts curriculum with an emphasis on producing well-rounded graduates and global citizens, who will take centre stage in key areas of politics, economy, business, IT and administration.
“Today’s Nigeria and Africa’s prosperity will thrive in the ability of citizens to establish businesses that will drive the economy. At AUN, we train students to become entrepreneurs who believe in themselves and meaningfully explore the opportunities in the community they find themselves.”
Dekle added that Nigeria and Africa need great leaders with the requisite skills and knowledge to lead the country and continent, stressing that the university is committed to nurturing, training and equipping the leaders of tomorrow.
In his keynote address, the African Bureau Chief of the Wall Street Journal, Mr. Joe Perkinson, stressed the importance of education to the teeming youths across the world which needs to be guarded jealously.
Perkinson observed with dismay the global misuse of the social media, especially in spreading negative information to the target audience which he said must be checked immediately.
He also described the well-disseminated news that the wife of the ousted President of Zimbabwe, Grace Mugabe had fled during the recent political squabble in that country as pure falsehood which was even published by many respected media organisations.
Perkinson suggests that the social media as a digital technology for passing information urgently needs to be controlled through regulations, if not it will cause more damage than good to societies.