The global president of One Love Foundation, Chief Patrick Eholor has announced that his organisation will be rollings out a scholarship scheme for Nigerian children.
Eholor, while speaking with journalists in Lagos, said the beneficiaries of the scholarship scheme will include every Nigerian child, but special emphasis will be on vulnerable kids, special children and children from poor backgrounds.
He also revealed that the first batch of recipients will be selected from the three Senatorial districts of Edo, his home state.
The activist, who is also popularly known as the Ultimate Equals decried the decline in education in Nigeria and attributed the rising unrest and insecurity across the country to illiteracy or half-literacy.
He blamed politicians who he said are deliberately keeping the larger population uneducated in order to keep them under their control, thereby impoverishing them.
His words “Politicians are the ones killing education in the country by keeping the children illiterate. Are you aware that in 2020, despite the challenges faced by Nigeria’s education sector and calls for the government to increase funding to the education sector, President Buhari gave the sector its lowest allocation in 10 years, when measured as a percentage of the total spending plan?
“Out of N13.08 trillion budgeted for next year, N742.5 billion was allotted to education. It is appalling that the highest budget goes to security, and yet, the main cause of insecurity in the country is lack of education – illiteracy!
Just look at the proposed 2022 budget.
President Buhari has moved the budget from N4.6 trillion, which was the last budget by Goodluck Jonathan to N16.34 trillion being proposed in 2022, which means, the budget has increased by about N12 trillion within seven fiscal cycles.
The N2.41 trillion to security and defence is more than the entire allocations to education and health.
The entire budget for education in the 2022 budget is N1.290 trillion. Out of which N875.93bn is for Ministry of Education, all universities, all polytechnics, all colleges of education, unity schools and other federal owned schools. While the Universal Basic Education fund will get N108 billion and TETFund will get N306 billion for infrastructure in tertiary education. All these funds are less than half allocated to defence and security.
Even health could only get 5% of the entire budget. The entire federal allocation to
That is just 5.6 per cent, the lowest percentage allocation since 2011.
With all these monies going into security, the insecurity is worsening. So what’s happening?
Education is the key. Once you educate te population, the issue of insecurity collapses.
That’s why we at One Love Foundation are giving out scholarships, starting from the South South. The formal ceremony will be part of my birthday. We are also going to create an awareness that the funding of our education system is very low compared to other less important sectors. Education is the light of any nation.
In the North East, especially with Boko Haram, the reason for no or very little education is that the elites don’t want the poor to understand what is going on. I also have challenged them that they must bring back History subject to our schools instead of changing it to International Studies.
There is no country without a past, present or future, but unfortunately, Nigeria has no past, has no present, and there might not be future. So, these are my concerns.
Common sense dictates to me that when you have a serious economic problem, and you have an army of unemployed youths capable of carrying out a revolution, and you are not looking at how you are going to engage them, then something is wrong.
The Minister for Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire proposed the other day that the country should borrow 82 billion naira to buy mosquito nets!
“You are a member of the cabinet, you don’t have to sit down where some people are trying to cause problem for our nation. When your sector which is key to our economic survival is 10 billion, and somebody in his right senses, who says he is a Profesional, a minister is coming with a proposal of buying nets.
“Well, we grew up in this country and mosquito has not killed everybody here. Its simply corruption, there is no other way to put it. One of our proposals during campaigns was to revive the iron and steel company that could employ 20 to 30, 000 people. But iron and steel is lying fallow now, and somebody will tell me that we should approve 82billion to buy mosquito nets? Some people should be sent to jail.
“Since the government has refused to live up to its responsibilities to the public, we at One Love Foundation will do the little we can and one day, a tiny river will become a mighty ocean.
“So come December 24th, which happens to be my birthday, we will roll out the first instalment of scholarships to Nigerians.