Governor Aminu Bello Masari of Katsina state, yesterday lamented that 600,000 of the one million pupils enrolled in the state primary school for the 2013/2014 academy year by the past administration are out of school, while the 400,000 pupils remaining in school are studying under conditions that are not conducive for learning.
Addressing a dinner organised by the Bakatsiniya Magazine in his honour in Kaduna yesterday, Masari decried the dilapidated and backward state of education in the North, especially northeast and northwest.
He stated the situation, if not arrested immediately, would further endanger the region and “add more misery to the already poor condition of the region that is currently languishing under high rate of poverty, unemployment and illiteracy.
The former Speaker said that education used to be the pride of the people of Katsina state with many past and present leaders of the country having schooled in the state.
He lamented that unfortunately, the state education system had “been neglected for too long and the effect is visible in the state, saying that if you did not give children the right education they will seek alternative training for themselves and that is the genesis of the present security challenges bedeviling the nation today”.
The Katsina state governor further added that agriculture in the past has been the bedrock of the state economy as 70per cent of the people depend on it.
He, however, decried past policies that made it difficult for farmers to get fertilizers, which were diverted to shylock dealers who exploited the farmers.
He assured the people of the state that his administration is taking inventory of farmers in the state to ascertain their actual numbers before knowing the right policy to impact positively on them.
“In line with our campaign promises to the people of Katsina state, we are making all money that come to the state and how they are spent public, everybody is free to challenge us if he or she is not satisfy with the way we are spending the people money.
“We are also warning that the era of a permanent secretary alone taking N9.5 billion in cash from a ministry is over. The setback in the state is a result of such corrupt practices but the good news is that we are going to use all legal means to recover all stolen monies from those involved.”
Chairman of the occasion, Engr. Kabir Abdullahi said the wind of changes blowing across the nation is visible in Katsina state and the government led by Rt, Hon Aminu Bello Masari will not disappoint the people of the state. He however solicited for support from the people of the state so the good days can return back to Katsina state.
National Vice President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, North West Zone Comrade Yusuf Idris, who was the guest speaker, commended the Katsina state Governor for working in line with his campaign promises especially by setting up various committees in vital sectors to study what is actually on ground in the ground.
“We as Journalists will work with the government of Katsina state, we will praise them when necessary and correct them when the needs arises,” he said.
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