Senate President Ahmad Lawan has said the weakness in Nigeria’s education sector gave rise to criminal activities and worsened insecurity across the country.
Lawan spoke on Monday at the 8th matriculation ceremony of the National Institute for Legislative and Democratic Studies (NILDS)/University of Benin (UNIBEN) postgraduate programmes held at the National Assembly, Abuja.
He said the deficits in the education sector, including limited funding, lack of infrastructure and teaching aids, poorly trained personnel and low levels of commitment, had adversely affected the productivity and output of schools and centres of learning in the country.
The consequences, he said, were rising profile of criminal activities and anti-social behaviour, insecurity, high number of unemployable youths and an unproductive work force, among others.
He said though the National Assembly had increased budgetary allocation to Universal Basic Education Commission to 3%, a lot more has to be done to strengthen the education sector.
Speaking on the postgraduate programmes, which offer Masters in Legislative Studies and other related fields, Lawan said for Nigeria to build a strong legislature, there is the need for highly professional and qualified staff members that are dedicated to parliamentary institution.
The Director-General of NILDS, Prof Abubakar Sulaiman, said 123 students matriculated for the 2020/2021 academic session.
He urged the students to comply with all the rules and regulations of the institute as contained in their matriculation oath and in the students’ handbook.
He also advised them to take full advantage of the institute’s human, library and IT resources to improve their learning.
“It is globally accepted that competent technical legislative staff are essential to the effective functioning of the legislature and by extension in building a strong and virile bureaucracy.”
“It is in the realization of this need and in response to the manpower gap identified through a personnel audit instituted by the NASS Management that NILDS has been at the forefront of developing qualitative and targeted training and educational programmes that will address the skills gaps identified in all aspects of legislative operations,” he said.
The postgraduate programmes are: Master’s Degree in Legislative Studies, Master’s Degree in Legislative Drafting, Master’s Degree in Parliamentary Administration, Master’s Degree in Constitutional Law and Constitutional Development.