The Minister of Youth Development, Malam Bolaji Abdullahi, on Friday in Abuja, warned Nigerian youths at the tertiary level against asking for free education from government, saying quality education could not be free of charge.
The minister said this when the Nigerian Youth Parliament, led by its Speaker, Rt. Hon. Abdullahi Mai-Basira, paid him a courtesy call in his office.
Abdullahi told the visiting youths that free education could make them leave school with bad skills.
He frowned at the incessant calls for 26 per cent budgetary allocation to education, saying if a state could spend 10 per cent of its budgetary allocation on education prudently, there would be positive results.
He said the education and youth development ministries were working together to work out how the youth could come out of school better informed with better skilled.
“If youths are leaving schools and institutions with better quality, then the less the problem that we will have to deal with; if young people are leaving institutions with no skill whatsoever, then that compounds our problems.
"So, there is a direct connection between the work of the Federal Ministry of Education for whatever happens to the education sector, and the work we do in the Ministry of Youth Development.
"You also have to begin to enjoin Nigerian youths, especially those of you that are still in the university that the quality university education that can bring you at per with your counterparts in other parts of the world cannot be free.
"Sometimes you find out that it is almost a contradiction to say you want world-class education and you want it to be free; there is nowhere in the world where tertiary education is free."
The minister assured Nigerian youths of the ministry’s support, adding that he would always listen to them on issues that would move the country forward.
Earlier, Mai-Basira had said the parliament was able to organise two sittings since it was inaugurated and that one of the issues amongst others discussed was the incessant strikes by the ASUU and how it could be resolved.
He maintained that it was high time the unrest in the university system was addressed and noted that if lasting solutions were not found, the education sector would continue to decline.
Mai-Basira appealed to the minister for continued support and said the parliament was an avenue through which Nigerian youths expressed their thoughts on issues affecting them. (NAN)