The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) of the UK government has called upon President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to channel the proceeds from fuel subsidy towards the advancement of education in Nigeria.
This proposition was made by FCDO’s representative, Ian Attfield, during the culmination of the Inclusive Education project in Nigeria, known as Supporting Mainstreaming Inclusion so all can Learn Equally (SMILE), which took place in Abuja on Wednesday.
Attfield emphasized, “Over the next five years or so, I am confident that discussions regarding the integration of inclusive education elements will become less prominent. Given the significant economic shifts, including modifications in fuel subsidy, it is imperative to divert these funds towards the human development of Nigeria, primarily in the domains of education and essential services for the youth.”
The event also featured contributions from Dr. Sunday Isiyaku, Country Director of Sightsavers Nigeria, a nonprofit organization. Isiyaku underscored the paramount importance of inclusivity in education for the progress of the nation. He called upon governments at various levels and local communities to guarantee the inclusion of children with disabilities in educational frameworks and future planning. Isiyaku highlighted the necessity of nurturing human capital and the profound positive effects it could have on the lives of disabled children and their families. He argued that inclusive education is not solely a fundamental human right but also a potent instrument for achieving sustainable development.
Technical Director of Inclusive Education at Sightsavers Global Team, Liesbeth Roolvink, expressed optimism regarding the project’s progress. “We have successfully trained numerous individuals who have emerged as champions capable of propelling this initiative across various regions in Nigeria. This is our aspiration and our vision,” Roolvink asserted.
The UK government’s recommendation to President Tinubu to allocate fuel subsidy proceeds for education underscores the international community’s increasing focus on fostering human development through education, particularly targeting marginalized and disabled youth. As the discussions surrounding this proposition unfold, its potential implications for Nigeria’s education landscape and overall societal progress remain subjects of significant anticipation and debate.