The National Council of Muslim Youth Organisations (NACOMYO) Lagos State Chapter has called on Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu to increase the budgetary allocation on education to 25 percent and reduce the tuition fees paid by students in all the state-owned schools to mitigate the effects of petroleum subsidy removal on parents.
This call was made by the umbrella body for Muslim youth organisations in Lagos state at a press conference organised by the council to celebrate National Youth Day.
The Coordinator, NACOMYO Lagos State Chapter, Alhaji Isiaka Salami while addressing the gathering, said the government must prioritise youth education in the 21st century.
“It is important to point out that equipping young people with the necessary skills to contribute to nation-building and a sustainable future may be difficult without the right education for them. In other words, the education of the youth is central to the nation’s development. It could be safely inferred that a community, a state, or a nation that contrives to lose out on the proper education of its youth has surreptitiously thrown away the key to nation-building and development.
He reiterated the need to increase budgetary allocation of the education sector, stating, that over the years, the state’s education budgetary allocation had hovered around 10 and 12 percent of the total budget, which falls short of the United Nations’ recommendation of a 25 percent budgetary allocation for education.
“In realisation of the UN recommendation, the Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman, recently, said that the Federal Government is ready to commit 25 per cent of the 2024 Federal Budget to Education. This cheering and heart-warming news, if eventually implemented, will signal a turnaround in the bid to address the problem of education in Nigeria.
Salami called on the Lagos State Government to increase the budgetary allocation to education in its 2024 Budget to the UN’s recommended 25 per cent.
“The Council believes that this will go a long way in the proper education of the youth in other to acquire the ‘Green Skills’ needed for a sustainable future.
The group urged Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu to reduce the tuition fees paid by students in all the state’s Schools to mitigate the effects of petroleum subsidy removal on parents who are ultimately responsible for payment of the fees.
He noted that another challenge militating against the youth’s contribution to a sustainable future is the rate of youth unemployment.
“In August 2022 the then Minister of State, Budget and National Planning estimated the population of Nigeria to have reached 217,079,601 with the youth’s population accounting for 70 percent of the over 217 million which stands at a huge 151 million youth. Sadly, 53.4 percent of the youth in Nigeria are unemployed according to the Youth Unemployment Rates released by the National Bureau of Statistics in 2022.
The population of youth in Lagos State is put at approximately 10 million, which is considered the largest in the country. Though Lagos State is arguably considered as having the lowest unemployment rate of 7.6 per cent with youth having the largest chunk of the unemployed population.
“Without doubt, the youth population in Lagos State, if properly harnessed, presents a potential asset for further rapid economic transformation of the State and the Country. However, it is important for the State Government to guide and harness their energy, enterprise and innovativeness,” he said.