A University of Ibadan (UI) don and professor of agriculture, Mohammed Kuta Yahaya, has said the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the number of out-of-school children in Nigeria even as it has helped the country to realise the potential of agriculture as alternative means of sustaining the economy.
Yahaya who spoke at the combined 28th convocation lecture of College of Education, Minna, titled: “COVID-19 pandemic and Nigerian Education System: What Lessons? said the pandemic increased the number of out of school by more than 200 percent thus had adverse effects on education as much as the economy.
According to him, “Over 39 million children were out of school in Nigeria during the pandemic which adds to the existing 13.5 million already out of school before the pandemic.”
In another perspective to the pandemic, he said the period had shown that there was no better alternative to oil and gas business than agriculture in the bid to diversify the economy.
Yahaya said Nigeria must harness its potential in agriculture and solid minerals to boost its economy maximally, and attributed the current scarcity of food in the country to the impact of COVID – 19 and activities of bandits.