National Youth Council of Nigeria, YCN, has said under the disciplined and transparent watch of the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu all loopholes that allowed for diversion of funds in the Agencies under the Ministry were identified and efficiently blocked.

YCN said that the finances conserved in the process were channelled to other meaningful projects while reducing the costs of all major examination fees including NECO and UTME/JAMB fees.

In a meeting between YCN, Global Initiative for Mass Education, Civil Society Advocacy Groups for Accountability and Probity have also uncovered massive progress in Nigerian educational sector as a result of transparency, accountability and integrity demonstrated by the Minister.

This was contained in a communiqué of the National Youth Council of Nigeria/Civil Society Organizations meeting on developments in the Nigerian educational sector held in Abuja, recently.

The Youth Council and partners expressed utmost dismay over what they described desperate attempts to disparage the image of the Minister of Education and derail the spate of progress being recorded in the educational sector all in a bid to paint the government of President Muhammadu Buhari in a bad light.

The groups raised the alarm based on the recent libellous publication by online media.

They said the attack is not only geared at crippling the recovery the education sector is recording after the devastating Covid-19 lockdown but also a subtle smear strategy against the government.

“Available records show that neither did the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission nor any other antigraft Agency invites Adamu. On issues of financial efficiency, prudence and fiscal transparency the Ministry of Education has performed excellently with no room for criminal elements contrary to what those scandal-mongering publications would have us believe,” the groups said.

According to their findings on the Minister which strongly affirm his knack for transparency and fiscal accountability, the group revealed that between 2016 and 2020, the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board remitted over ten billion Naira to the Federal Government contrary to the prior norm where these monies were diverted to private pockets.

They said the National Examination Council has also remitted monies running into several billions of naira into the Federation coffers.

Also, as a result of the transparency measures which have conserved funds, the Federal government subsequently reduced UTME, NECO and BSCE exams.

In their findings, it was revealed that as a result of efficient utilization of funds, TETFund has been reinvigorated to expand the project execution capacity in public tertiary Institutions thereby addressing some key demands by ASUU.

Other things discovered include: There has been a major leap in the performance of the Universal Basic Education Commission due to the watertight accountability system under the Minister’s watch. This has led to increased enrolment of pupils across the nation; a prudent revitalization plan for Nigerian Universities has also been emplaced to increase the carrying capacity our Universities by expanding available facilities while also approving the establishment of new Universities.

The group, therefore, condemned attacks on the image of the minister of Education and other Agencies/Bodies under the ministry.

“The eagerness to drag an important Ministry as the Ministry of Education into the murky political terrain by mentioning the Governor of Yobe State and Caretaker Chairman of the APC also demonstrated the bald-faced political Agenda of the men behind the mask who are bent on ridiculing the government just to gain some mileage in the 2023 Presidential elections.

“We advise sternly that these purveyors mischief steer their ship of vendetta clear of Nigeria’s very important education sector which is already on the path of progress.

“It is imperative to draw attention to the fact that anyone with proof of corruption against the Minister has the liberty to approach the antigraft Agencies or the Law Courts for justice to be served. The enemies of our education sector have however decided contrariwise, placing the cart before the horse and serving as judge, jury and hangman all in one. It is highly condemnable,” said the group.

Meanwhile, NYC said the recent approval of licenses for 20 private universities will go a step further in curbing capital flight out of the country, boosting innovation and triggering productivity

The Council also said the increment of the salary of teachers alongside the extension of retirement age is a masterstroke that could only have been achieved under an efficiently managed fiscal process.

 


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