Old Governor Peter Obi called on governments at the federal and state levels to prioritize investments in education, noting that it is any nation’s most important asset.
Obi, who made the call in his keynote speech at the first National Association of Private School Owners (NAPPS) Education Summit in Enugu State, argued that in As the greatest asset of any nation, education can help boost the economy, build the social values of individuals and achieve better governance in a nation.
He lamented that governments over the years have not given due attention to education as the most important tool for national development, saying that Nigerian society rewards political thugs more than teachers and the teachers, who are the pillars of the growth of education in the country.
He regretted that the government negotiates with bandits while striking teachers are ignored.
“Professors, teachers and retired teachers owe their financial rewards, while political leaders share and spend money on frivolities,” Obi said.
“In the United States, for example, the governor of California earns around $200,000 while professors at Stanford University earn around $300,000 each. This is because they understand that the professor is more valuable to society than many political leaders,” he added.
Citing examples with countries like China, India, Bangladesh and Ghana, which had an HDI similar to Nigeria in the year 2000, Obi said these countries are now doing better than us because ‘they have invested in the critical areas of development, of which education is the most important.
Obi also blamed the growing poverty and shortage of entrepreneurs in Nigeria on inadequate education, occasioned by the government’s apparent neglect of the education sector.
His words: “The progressive societies you see today are powered by the private sector, the foundation of which is entrepreneurship. Without proper education, it would be difficult for a nation to raise an army of entrepreneurs who will keep the economy running.
Obi urged governments to invest heavily in education to move the country forward.