A bill seeking to make basic education free and compulsory for all Nigerians has passed second reading in the house of representatives
The constitution amendment bill, sponsored by Femi Gbajabiamila, the speaker, scaled second reading at the plenary session on Thursday.
With Nigeria having one of the highest children not in school across the world, the bill when passed would give individuals the legal backing to enforce their right to basic education in court.
Moving for its debate on behalf of the speaker, Mohammed Monguno from Borno state said the bill is commendable as it seeks to ensure that millions of out-of-school children in Nigeria return to the classroom.
He added that the bill would cure the lack of education drive and that education is the ultimate cure for insurgency in the north-east.
Toby Okechukwu, the representative from Enugu state, said Nigeria strongly needs such legislation which would make education accessible to all.
Yakub Buba, from Adamawa state, said Boko Haram insurgents have in the past used the lack of education as a tool to brainwash citizens to join them, adding that the bill will stop the trend.
Gbajabiamila said the bill will ensure basic education is no longer a privilege but a fundamental human right for Nigerians.
“The bill seeks to make free compulsory education a national policy so that no child is left behind nationwide,” he said.
“It also seeks to eliminate the word illiteracy form the Nigerian lexicon as it is becoming a plague.
The bill was referred to an ad hoc committee on the review of the Nigerian constitution.
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