By Abubakar Garba Mukhtar
Following the recent request of the 15 billion naira loan by Governor Abdullahi Ganduje from Guaranty Trust Bank (GT Bank) which was given approval just two days after Ganduje sent the request. According to the request, the loan will be used in financing free and compulsory education policy.
But the loan in a very mere assumption can be assumed as a misplacement of priority having not to measure and consider the cost-benefit analysis of the loan before seeking the request.
The loan is expected to be repaid in thirty months with 15% interest will add no or less value to the policy owing to the fact that each local government will receive 340 million naira and the payment is going to be deducted from each local government’s federal monthly allocation.
The reason why Ganduje’s loan request is a misplacement of priority is that his government fail to address the problem of its inability to fill in the gap of the shortage of teachers; quality and competent teachers that can teach in schools where necessary, and provision of conducive learning environment before putting-in the policy into action.
Despite the lack of quality teachers in schools, the schools most of the schools are dilapidated with no available chairs coupled with lack of teaching materials (teaching aid) that facilitates effective and efficient teaching in schools.
At least he ought to have started with the construction of additional classes, rehabilitation of the dilapidated ones before declaring free and compulsory education policy across the state. The government have no certainty on the local government chairmen to judiciously spend the money in financing the policy especially the sustenance of the government’s free school feeding program and the provision of free school uniform which were all among the reasons why Ganduje requested for the loan.
Last but not the least is the welfare package of teachers. Money and good working environment are two major motivating factors for workers. Therefore, a good teaching environment should be provided for them and their salaries paid as and when due.
There should be a system in place to reward hardworking teachers and punish the lazy ones. But the government is yet to fashion out mechanisms to be used in ensuring teachers welfare.
Statistically, the 44 local government areas will pay the sum of Two billion, two hundred and fifty million naira (N2,250,000,000) as the interest rate of the principal of 15% of 15 billion naira in 30 months, also each month they will pay 75 million naira respectively and in every month each local government will be deducted 1,704, 545.4545 from its statutory federal monthly allocation.
Where are the internally generated revenues (That’s internally generated revenue) ? Are the monies not enough to fund the free education without any loan at 15% interest rate?
The need of Kano people is to have qualitative education and the way to achieve that is through good educational policy and engaging the relevant educational stakeholders. With keen interest hope
Abubakar Garba Mukhtar, a Public Affairs Commentator, an economist writes from Kano and can be reached via email@example.com.