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We’re investing a lot into paying politicians instead of prioritising education – Moghalu

  Kingsley Moghalu, former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), says the “political priority” attached to education in Nige...


Kingsley Moghalu, former deputy governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), says the “political priority” attached to education in Nigeria is “very low”.


Moghalu spoke on Tuesday during an interview with Channels Television.


The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has been on strike since February 14 to demand improved funding for universities, review of salaries for lecturers, among other issues.


Several meetings between ASUU and the federal government have ended in deadlock.


Speaking on the lingering ASUU strike, Moghalu said Nigeria needs to invest more in education instead of salaries of politicians.


“We need to invest a lot more in the educational system — the salaries of our teachers and professors in Nigerian universities, compared to what our legislators earn in the national assembly. I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but there are reports that a senator takes home anything from N20 million to N30 million every month based on various allowances, not the actual salaries,” he said.


“Sometimes, people are very clever. They don’t say ‘my salary is N10 million.’ They say ‘my salary is N1 million’, and then there are several allowances that amount to N15 million.


 “So, we are investing a lot of money in the pay of politicians, but if we want to be honest, how productive are they compared to if we had invested a similar amount of money in paying university and secondary school teachers and building the facilities that we need, creating the laboratories, and so on?


“The political priority that we attach to education is very low. That is one of the reasons for the situation that we are in now.”


Asked if he believes the federal government cannot afford ASUU’s demands, Moghalu said the government needs to review its priorities.


“I think the federal government is not able to afford it because they have not prioritised it. Everybody sees a lot of money being spent in this country. Everybody sees a lot of money being borrowed in this country,” he said.


 “We borrow sometimes for physical infrastructure. Why can’t you borrow to build your society in a very foundational way?


“Why can’t you borrow to pay the N1.3 trillion that ASUU and Jonathan’s government agreed would be paid in 2012 and over a period of time.”

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