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OUT OF SCHOOL KIDS: You can’t blame it all on Buhari —Presidency



Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser, Media and Publicity to the President, has stated that the blame for the number of out of school children cannot all be put on the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Adesina who spoke during an interview on Channels TV ‘Politics Today’ monitored by Ripples Nigeria, was reacting to comments by a former President of Nigeria, Olusegun Obasanjo about the increase in out-of-school children, which currently stands at 15 million based on statistics.

Obasanjo had said, “It didn’t matter how the country dealt with Boko Haram, banditry and kidnapping – either by stick or by carrot approach – those 15 million children that should be in school, but are not in school are the potential Boko Haram of 10-15 years from now.

“I believe it is not late to start and say to ourselves ‘we do not want the Boko Haram of 2030 or 2035.

“But if we don’t do anything about those 15 million out-of-school children, we are already in more trouble with Boko Haram of the future,” Obasanjo noted.

However, Adesina clarified that while Obasanjo’s position is true, the issue was a culmination of various challenges from previous administrations which was further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Those facts are real and it is a reflection of the state of our polity but I will also add that such menace were there under Obasanjo’s tenure to a lesser extent. This tells you that these issues are a culmination of problems and the onus is for various administrations to redress these challenges. You can’t lay everything at the doorstep of President Buhari.

“Before COVID-19, there was a vast reduction in the out of school kids; the figures are in the public domain but the challenge of the pandemic nosedived the economy.

“The havoc wreaked on the economy is yet to be understood which exacerbated the challenge.”

The presidential spokesman also hinted that government would prosecute stakeholders in the oil sector responsible for the distribution of adulterated Premium Motor Spirit (Petrol) which led to the ongoing scarcity that has grounded a lot of businesses.

In response to a question about the prosecution of errant oil marketers, Adesina said, “It is not in my place to keep the record of infractions, or those being punished. One of the reasons the Federal Government exists is to enforce law and order, the FG is alive to its duties and responsibilities in the country.

Read also: UNICEF says one million kids dropped out of school due to insecurity in Nigeria

“President Muhammadu Buhari takes responsibility for everything that happens under his watch and he does whatever should be done, including in the petroleum sector directly under his watch.

“For example, when the GMD of the NNPC, Mele Kyari, apologised to Nigerians, he did that on behalf of the President who doubles as the Minister of Petroleum.

“The current vacuum will be filled when the new cargo arrives and is distributed to the filling stations”, he offered.

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