Nigeria’s Rising Illiterate Population Dangerous, Says Peterside


The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Resources (Downstream), Dakuku Peterside, has said the country should be worried about its rising illiterate population.

Peterside, in a statement yesterday, said a World Bank report on the situation should be taken seriously.

Nigerians, the report said, “are relatively poor, with about 46 per cent of the population living in absolute poverty and there is high inequality. Nigeria still faces considerable human development challenges, with poor human development indicators, high regional disparities, and huge pockets of extreme poverty, ranked 156 out of 187 countries on the human development index”.

He praised the bank for offering to help out.

Peterside said: “What seems to be cheering news from this depressing verdict is that the bank’s State Education Investment Project would provide $150m credit facilities to Ekiti, Bauchi and Anambra states in partnership with the federal government.”

He said any country, which refuses to pay attention to education, would discover it has no future.

“This is why we must constantly remind ourselves that everything that makes life worth living or makes a country great no matter how small, only begins with education because it is the foundation of everything. Today, part of our reality, sadly though, is this decrepit state of education which is no longer a secret. That the gates of our country’s universities have remained shut since July 1, 2013 should naturally give us nightmares. But we are busy trading blames and playing politics with the future of the next generation. These developments in my opinion are indications that we may be headed for a very long night in the education sector,” he said.

He said it was sad that “Nigeria came abysmally low in the rating of the African Economist and, a professional ranking and records site on their list of countries with the highest literacy rates in Africa”.

He lamented the fact that Zimbabwe, Equatorial Guinea, South Africa, Kenya and Namibia led the continent while Nigeria could not even make the first twenty on the list.

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