Minna — The former military president, General Ibrahim Babangida, has said education is one of the greatest challenges facing the country, adding that a nation that fails to educate the people has a great problem.
Babangida, who made this known when the Governing council of the National Examination Council (NECO) and some senior staff of the Council paid him a courtesy call at his residence yesterday in Minna, stated that the nation was in trouble if it does not educate her people.
"If we fail as a nation to educate our people, then we are up to trouble," he said.
Speaking earlier, the Chairman of the Governing Council, Dr. Paddy Njoku, stated that the examination body needed about N5billion to perform its statutory duties.
According to him, the Federal Government alone cannot provide the money needed for the complete running of the Council calling on good spirited individuals and organisations to assist the council achieve its aim.
Meanwhile, Niger State Governor, Dr. Muazu Babangida Aliyu, has challenged the council to take steps towards arresting the spread of examination malpractices in the country.
Aliyu, who said this when the council paid him a courtesy visit at the Government House, said the spread of examination malpractice was already attaining an alarming situation requiring concerted efforts to arrest it.
He said involvement of candidates in malpractices in examination can be attributed to the fall in the standard of education as most students are no longer working hard to pass their tests.
The governor expressed regret that some parents were also encouraging their children to engage in malpractices by paying for people to either sit for examination for them or buy question papers for them.
According to him, in the past the certificates issued by Nigeria institution was comparable to that from schools outside the country.
He lamented that the situation had changed to the extent that Nigerians seeking admission into schools outside the country were compelled to sit for several examination before being admitted.