Adamu Adamu, the Minister of Education, in a statement on Monday in Abuja, said that the Federal Government is working on criminalizing the unwillingness of parents to send their children to school.
Mr. Adamu stated this during a press conference on the federal government’s intervention in the basic education sub-sector.
“The ministry is calling not just for the criminalisation of this act, because something is already being done on that, but for putting the law into effect. The Sokoto State Governor, (Aminu Tambuwal) once did something like this. Unless not sending children to school is made a crime, and parents who refuse to send their children to school are prosecuted, we may not see the desired changes,” Adamu said.
“I agree that not sending children to school should be criminalised and it will be done. In the last four years, the Federal Government’s funding of basic education has increased significantly, despite low earnings from oil prices. In 2015, matching and non-conditional grants disbursements to 15 states amounted to N68bn,” he added.
“In 2016, grants disbursements to 29 states and the Federal Capital Territory was about N77bn and in 2017, it was N95bn to 24 states. Hence, the disbursements over the four-year period totalled N350bn.”
Mr. Adamu further revealed that the lack of political will of some states to meet up to its responsibilities by providing counterpart fund so as to access the UBEC fund forced the FG to deduct the amount from their allocations.
“Corruption and lack of political will have been responsible for most states’ inability to provide their counterpart fund to enable them to access the matching grant provided by the Federal Government.
“The Federal Government therefore decided to deduct from source, which is from the last tranche of the Paris Club refund to states that have not been able to access their money from UBEC.”