Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises, BPE, Mr. Benjamin Ezra Dikki has attributed the incidence of crime and other anti-social behaviors plaguing the country to the falling standards of education at the primary secondary levels.
He therefore called for urgent reform of education in Nigeria to ensure enforcement of standards at the primary and secondary levels.
Dikki said “It is disheartening that students finish secondary schools and cannot read or write properly.”
He noted that though there are regulatory institutions for tertiary education like the Nigerian Universities Commission, NUC, and the National Board for Technical Education, NBTE, among others to ensure the enforcement of standards, this was lacking at the primary and secondary levels.
Receiving a team from the World Bank, led by Guillemette Jaffrin that paid a courtesy call on him, the DG said the lack of regulation at these levels has resulted in falling standards at the foundation level of education in the country.
A statement from the Head, Public Communications of the BPE, Mr. Alex E. Okoh “he attributed the incidence of crime and other anti-social behaviors plaguing the country to the falling standards of education at the primary secondary levels. It is disheartening that students finish secondary schools and cannot read or write properly”.
Dikki said the Bureau is hamstrung to undertake reforms initiatives at the primary and secondary level because of constitutional provisions.
“What at present obtains is that the Federal Government controls only the tertiary institutions in the country while the States and Local Government Areas control secondary and primary education. And until we bring the primary and secondary levels under a regulatory regime that enforces uniform standards across the nation, the decline in standards will continue. Schools that do not meet the standards and waste the formative years of our youth should be closed”, he stated.
He also informed the World Bank team that the Bureau also plans to reform the health sector in the country to check quackery and the high medical pilgrimage abroad by Nigerians.
The DG said already the Federal Ministry of Health and the BPE have commenced a joint preliminary review of the sector legislations to reform the sector.
Dikki further informed his audience that government was also working on reforming the Sports, Hospitality &Tourism, River Basins, Housing and Road sectors.
He added that five Bills in the Transport Sector were presented to the 7th National Assembly for enactment but unfortunately the five Bills with three others were not passed before the expiration of the 7th National Assembly.
He expressed the hope that the 8th National Assembly would expeditiously pass the Bills when re-presented by the executive arm.
According to him, once the Bills are passed, other new regulatory agencies would be set up or existing ones restructured. The passage of the Bills will facilitate private sector investment in infrastructure like railways, roads and inland waters ways. “This will relieve the Federal Government from investing in these sectors and free resources for the change Nigerians yearn for”, he added.
On the Sports Sector, the DG said that given the huge population of 160 million Nigerian sports enthusiasts, a lot of potentials abound in the sector which if well harnessed, would be a veritable income earner for the country as is the case in Britain and other countries.
Dikki regretted the non-passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill, PIB, which has locked out investments in the sector that would grow the economy and create jobs.
The DG thanked the World Bank for the sustained support and funding of the Federal Government reform initiatives.
Leader of the World Bank team, Guillemette Jaffrin said the Bank was concluding the review of its activities in Nigeria within the week and decided to visit the Bureau to have its inputs.
She said all the concerns raised by the bureau would be accommodated in its report.


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