15 January 2003

Nigeria: Federal Government Urged to Set Up Legal Framework for Education

Lagos — DR. Mfon Amana,member of the Governing Council of the Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC), has called on the federal government to encourage mass participation in education delivery by setting up a legal framework for adequate private sector participation.

Amana, a participant at the four-day World Education Market (WEM) holding in Lisbon, Portugal, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that, the legal framework should be able to pave the way for the private sector to meaningfully invest in the country's future.

"Education should not be seen as an exclusive special preserved of government alone but as an all inclusive challenge to invest in the future for our country," he said, adding: "Government should begin to see its role more in setting standards and enforcing standards, rather than seeing itself as sole investor."

He said that once the legal framework was in place, the private sector would be consequently empowered to do its necessarily measured in monetary terms of its benefits to be the individual, society and organizations. "The rest of the World is no longer seeing education as social service alone but as an investment. We must change our minds on this." Amana said.

"Missionaries of various religious denominations should be further encouraged and empowered to invest in education, he said, stressing: "Prospective investors in education should be encouraged to go into information Communication Technology (ICT) by granting them various incentives."

Amana who noted that ICT was fastly becoming the basic tool in education, especially in the promotion of electronic-learning, called on government to put a policy in place to foster the use of ICT in education. He said that the government should also consider entering bilateral agreements with more developed countries to facilitate exchanges in building of digital libraries, Information Technology (IT) and computers.

Calling on the government to do more in IT development,. Amana stressed that government's commitment and determination were the dependent variables in the project, and not the amount of money involved.

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