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Changing The Nigerian Education Landscape: The Bola Tinubu Commitment



President Bola Ahmad Tinubu


By Ahmad Sajoh

The Nigerian Education ecosystem is witnessing a change for the better.
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has made it very clear right from the onset that his presidency understood that education is the real catalyst for National development. One year after, the progress made in the education sector had been tremendous. Though a lot them are intangible but their impacts are real. Education and knowledge sharing are among the most dynamic aspects of human development. Core knowledge today could become obsolete tomorrow. However, the Tinubu government commitment to quality and access to all are constant. Thus, ending out-of-school children syndrome and providing enablement are key to President Tinubu’s inclusive education template. The Students Loan scheme is a bold step by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to ensure that every eligible child gets quality higher education in Nigeria no matter the circumstances of their birth. It’s launch is not only historic but revolutionary. Children who would have been deprived of access of quality tertiary education will surely be availed such opportunities under the Students Loan scheme.

In order to drive the education sector effectively, Mr. President realized that delegating his mandate in that sector requires a driver that will drive it with the precision of a pilot. Thus, in appointing the leadership of the Federal Ministry of Education, the president looked for a committed academic from the University as the Minister of Education. If there is a man presiding over our education system that fits the bill, it is indeed the current Minister Prof Tahir Mamman, SAN CON. His entire professional life is spent on promoting learning and knowledge sharing. And because he is a professional in the true sense of the word, he came to the Ministry with a mindset that believes ” *Education without Skills is incomplete”*

Working on the Matching orders of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu Prof Tahir Mamman set out to actualize the ” *Education roadmap of the Renewed Hope Agenda* ” The first thing he did in office was to act like a true academic. He set up a panel to study the situation and come up with a comprehensive blueprint for the repositioning of the Education. And he didn’t just involve fellow academicians alone, he mixed them with industry players including long term directors in the Ministry who have a lot of institutional memories. Prof Tahir Mamman understood that every academic study can be enriched by some validation exercises. He promptly set up a two-step validation process. First he established a small team of experts and asked them to explore the study contents and come up with a working document.

That working document which was designed by the experts was ultimately aligned to the education roadmap of the Bola Tinubu vision. It was further subjected to a stakeholder validation process at a retreat in Uyo the Akwa Ibom state capital. Participants include a broad spectrum of industry players including the sub-national governments, international agencies, academics and professionals. It was profound and deep.

As if that was not enough, Prof Tahir held a stakeholder forum in Abuja involving civil society groups. This too was in keeping with the vision of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu who is concerned about public input into all policies. The President believes that all policies are for the benefits of the people hence the need for public inputs into all policy documents.The end result of these processes is a working document that had an input from different sources with insider knowledge and ” *recipient value understanding”*

The essence of these National Stakeholders Conferences and Strategic Engagements are intended to advance education leadership management, ensure quality assurance in education, promote teacher education and determine benchmarks for creating a valuable education database. These engagements include building valuable partnerships with the private sector in order to build a holistic education system for the country.

One thing that stood out very clearly during these engagements is that the Federal Government’s direct role in Primary and Secondary Education is minimal. As a matter of fact, the Federal government role at these levels of Education are simply policy matters and regulations. Another fact that emerged is that there are more private schools at the basic and secondary level than public schools. Working on the directives of the President, the Federal Ministry of Education set out to remodel all policies at the basic and secondary levels to fit into certain key requirements. One of such requirements which is derived from the Renewed Hope Agenda is universal access to basic education by all citizens. In this case a new impetus was given to ensuring that out-of-school children are reduced drastically and eventually eliminated completely. Another core component of the new education policy is the introduction of skill-sets, as part of the curricular at both basic and post basic levels.

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu had earlier informed the nation that he is committed to very high standards in education. Leveraging on that understanding, Professor Tahir Mamman started working on new policies that will set standards that may create a competitive advantage for public schools. At the public stakeholder forum the Minister said that ” *by the time our current policies mature there will be no difference in standards between public and private schools* ” that is something we eagerly look forward to. One key area this policy is expected to truly make a difference is in the reintroduction of the skills component in the education system at the basic and secondary levels.

Nigeria like most parts of the world is transiting to a more functional form of education that includes hands-on knowledge in a particular skill for every student. This is in addition to literacy and numeracy. The reason of course is that both white collar and blue collar jobs are limited. Students must begin to look beyond being job seekers to job creators. Hence, the new policy of education tilting towards a more comprehensive and functional learning environment than just relying on a theoretical framework.

In the area of research and development, the Federal Ministry of Education under the Bola Ahmed Tinubu Administration has sponsored 185 researchers, supported 44 teams of 176 researchers and upgraded 24 centers of excellence. The net effect is that about 80 books have been written and published. All of them are tailor made for the Nigerian learning ecosystem. 868 Academic Research journals were procured in addition to 3,118,701 assorted books and 376,262 E-Resources.

The Review of both Senior Secondary Education Curriculum and Tertiary Education curriculum have been undertaken within the last one year. The review emphasizes the acquisition of knowledge, competitive employable skills, skills for digital disruption, development of skills in Positive Based Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotics, entrepreneurial attitude and skills, value orientation, and a wide range of critical soft skills for global competitiveness.

Teacher training and advancement are at the core of an effective education system Training of Teachers is considered a core component of the overall education advancement in the country because of the realization that the teacher is the learning process. To this end various programmes have been put in place for the training of teachers. 35,000 teachers across the country have been trained in the use of ICT in the classroom. In addition, 70,674 teachers and non-teaching staff at all levels in various relevant academic and non-academic have benefited from training initiatives, covering Leadership Skills Development, Effective National Innovation Ecosystem, Education Management Information System, Quality Assurance, Effective curriculum development and implementation and many others including early childhood care development.

The Ministry has Registered and certified 40,999 teachers on their TRCN database and a total of 19, 193 licenses have been issued to teachers. 3,535 successful graduating education students across 11 institutions in the country were inducted while the Dual Mandate in Federal Colleges of Education has commenced. This means that there will be Concurrent running of the Nigeria Certificate in Education (NCE) & Degree programmes in those institutions.

The bulk of the Federal Government direct contributions in education are at the Tertiary level. At this level, the Federal Government participates in a number of ways through ownership of Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education, regulation and interventions. This way the government is saddled with setting standards and ensuring that Nigerian graduates compete with graduates all over the world. Already it is evident that Nigerian graduates have been proving their capacities all over the world.

What the Ministry of Education under President Tinubu’s government hopes to achieve is to align all Tertiary education activities within a common standard that ensures value addition through skill-sets as the core component of learning. In addition the Ministry is working towards a unified system that encourages synergy and mobility. The new mantra is co-operation rather than competition.

It is in line with this new focus that for the first time in the history of the country, the government released the list of governing Councils for Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education at the same time. The purpose is to enable them to commence work at the same time. Thus, monitoring and evaluating their contributions as policy hubs can be done at the same level using the same key performance indicators (KPIs).

In order to make sure they operate using the same benchmarks developed from the Renewed Hope Agenda and stakeholder inputs, they will be invited to attend a retreat together as a group. The essence is to enable all the council members to know that Tertiary education under President Bola Ahmed Tinubu will operate in synergy. There is no superiority or territorial protection. They must all function as units of National development under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Education.

One year after, all the frameworks for a robust education roadmap have been put in place. Some of the policies have started taking shape. Academic calendars for all Tertiary Institutions will be standardized with all hiccups such as strikes by staff avoided at all levels. The roles and functions of the different tiers such as Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges Education will be clearly spelt out and pursued vigorously. In the end the Education roadmap will eventually leap-frog Nigeria into the 4th Industrial revolution. The ultimate goal is to change the education landscape of Nigeria for the better. According to Professor Tahir Mamman SAN CON ” _The goal of Education under the Tinubu Administration is to provide for a reformed education sector that provides access to quality education for all and is capable of producing a highly skilled and educated workforce equipped with entrepreneurial skills to break the cycle of poverty and guarantee sustainable economic growth and global competitiveness”_

_Ahmad Sajoh is a member of the Independent Media and Policy Initiative IMPI and writes from Wuse, Abuja


Rivers Boils, Kano Simmer: Political Chaos and Federal Indifference




Harun Muhammad

For those that have been following with a keen interest, Rivers politics has been intensely boiling for almost a year now. First, a state Governor losing a control of his entire cabinet members, and the State Assembly intended to serve him an impeachment notice. Instead to allow that unfortunate event to happen, he instructed demolition of the House Assembly chamber. This single act could’ve been termed as an absolute abuse of power and treasonable offence against the democratic settings of our land. However, nothing happened.

Secondly, while on that mission of emancipation, we have watched with dismay how the police, under instructions from those close to the corridors of powers, discharge out hot water on the Executive Governor of Rivers, all in the attempt to stop him from having access to the Assembly chamber. However, that didn’t stop him. The Governor, used executive power to present his budget to minority assembly members, which was considered as illegitimate way of democratic processes. Again, nothing happened.

Thirdly, since last few months, there has been tension in the state because the tenure of the existing local government chairmen is expiring tomorrow. As a result, the Wike and Fubara’s camp started throwing heavy threats. The former’s camp is claiming that only the court of law can sack them while the later are saying, based on the orders from the Governor, they must vacate their seats before tomorrow. As I am writing this, it is getting spontaneously tense in Rivers, and only God knows when this melting pot will stop boiling.

Why am I saying this?

Ever since this series of events started to emerge in Rivers, the State Governor and the security forces in the state, despite multiple court orders and proceedings, have been working closely with Gov Fubara. There has never a time when a Commissioner of Police publicly disagreed with the Governor. In fact, the first CP was removed and new one was issued into the state at the peak of the turmoil just to make things easier for the Governor.

Rivers, being one of the oil-producing states, is a critical factor to Nigeria’s evaporating economy. With political instability on ground, a clear threat to the national security is conspicuously aiming to emerge. However, there was never a time the security forces takeover some portion of the state against the State Governor’s order. There was never a time security forces usurped the Executive Governor. There was never a single time.

On the other hand, in Kano, the state government passed a law to revert the Emirate to its status quo, which has been in existing over 100 years ago. The Governor, by the power given to him constitutionally, signed the bill into law. By that single Act, the Governor generously refused to send the dethroned out of the state against the tradition of the Emirate in the past.

Despite this, some political actors find themselves in a position to destabilise the peaceful coexistence of the state, which has given them everything. Consequently, with the help from the above, they have been fanning the embers of resentment which continues to smolder, threatening to reignite from time to time.

It should be noted that, the Rivers and Kano issues are mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive events. However, the later seems to have drawn more attention to the security forces and federal government, despite posing significantly less threat to the national security than the one in Rivers. The question is: why always Kano?

Again, it should be noted that the political actors, having been democratically defeated at the polls twice, including the courts, are hellbent to continuously cause unending chaos in Kano State, and therefore prepare them for 2027 election.

We shall remind the Federal Government that the people who are encouraging them to challenge a democratically elected Governor are not doing the entire process a favour. More specifically, what we want the state actors to note that they are setting a dangerous precedence because tomorrow someone with access to power could play a worse syntax against the laws in the land.

The world is watching, and seven years—even if those in power secure re-election—will quickly pass.

Haroun Muhammed writes from Lagos, Nigeria

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The Wike ,I never Expect-Abba Hamisu



Governor Wike making the address


Abba Hamisu

Glad to be a resident of Abuja the Federal Capital Territory FCT,glad to have Nyesom Wike as FCT Minister .

Yes in past nine years particularly from 2014 to 2022 I frequently visit Abuja from Kano mostly by air as one of my clients that I provide TV content for them paid the bill on weekly basis together with one or two of my workers at Time Base TvAfrica ,but from the Airport to my hotel all I see then was dust plus harders walking freely around some of the strategic areas of the city .

But with coming of the former Rivers State Governor Wike who mostly perceived to be a stubborn politician ,things have suddenly change overnight.

What I mean by overnight is that the man have change the face of Abuja within one year. I am proud with this development and appreciate the support of Dr. Bunkure ,the State Minister of FCT who was the former Commissioner for Higher Education in Kano State from 2019 to 2023.

With out bothering you much ,what really passionate me about this man is the completion of the Abuja Metro rail which was initiated during the second tenure of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo.

Serial FCT Ministers couldn’t complete this project but Wike did. From Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport to the National Stadium down to Edu rail station up to the Central area ,the main Metro stations,was a lovely journey,free of charge for all passengers including me on 7th June 2024 .And according to the plan ,the train will be free up to December 2024.

So Abuja residents like me and Visitors have every right to enjoy this giant project of Wike.

Congratulations Abuja residents and Nigerians by Extension.

My hope is to see Kano light rail soon ,forget about politics ,Governor Yusuf should learn from Wike ,as Prophet of Islam (S A.W ) said “Wisdom is the property of a pious man ,he should pick it where ever he see’s it”.

Kano need modern transportation system fly overs and under passes alone can not provide the needed solutions.

Abba Hamisu Sani ,is the CEO Time Base TvAfrica/Nigerian Bureau Chief Africa Press and the National Coordinator Society For Patriotic Journalism.

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Federal Government Agents Must Uphold the Law, Not Cause Havoc in Kano



Emir Of Kano Muhammadu Sunusi II


By Turaki Abubakar

The recent turmoil surrounding the emirship throne in Kano is distressing and alarming. I am compelled to speak out against the blatant disregard for the law and moral integrity by federal government agents and certain political factions.

Governor Kabir Abba Yusuf has signed into law a decision that deposed the five emirs, effectively reinstating Muhammadu Sanusi II as the Emir of Kano. However, federal security institutions, including the Nigerian Army, Police, and the Department of State Services (DSS), are allegedly working against the implementation of this law, undermining the state’s legal authority.

The complicity of former Governor Ganduje and his camp in this legal defiance is evident. They are abusing the judicial process by rushing to federal courts in Abuja for matters that should be under the exclusive jurisdiction of state high courts. This is a dangerous precedent for federal overreach into state matters.

It is shameful and degrading for institutions like the Nigerian military, police force, and DSS to be allegedly compromised in this manner. Their involvement in this unconstitutional stand-off is a direct affront to the resolutions passed by the Kano State House of Assembly and signed into law by Governor Abba.

The jurisdictional issues are clear. State high courts have exclusive jurisdiction over chieftaincy matters, not federal courts. The Federal High Court has overstepped its bounds by entertaining cases related to the emirship that are the purview of state courts.

I urge senior lawyers, citizens, and all those with a conscience to speak out against this encroachment on Kano’s autonomy and legal integrity. The law must take its rightful place. Aminu Ado Bayero is no longer the Emir of Kano, and unless the law is repealed and his appointment reversed, Muhammadu Sanusi II remains the duly appointed Emir.

In conclusion, the federal government must refrain from encouraging impunity and ensure that its agents respect the rule of law. The institutions responsible for maintaining law and order should not be used as tools for political maneuvering and unconstitutional actions. It is high time that the federal government upholds the principles of justice and legality, allowing Kano State to govern its affairs without undue interference.

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