House rejects bill to stop public officers’ children from going abroad for studies

The House of Representatives has rejected a bill that seeks to regulate the way children of public officers are going outside the country to study.

The bill, sponsored by Sergius Ogun (Edo, PDP), which was slated for second reading, also called for the strengthening of Nigeria’s public institutions to discourage the presence of foreign institutions.

In his lead debate, Ogun argued that it would check the penchant of public officers taking their wards outside the country for studies while less effort was being made to better the situation of the nations’ public schools.

He said, “I believe that public officers should be subjected to the utility of the public institutions which they are responsible for building and maintaining.

“For instance, reports show that Ghana alone gets N160billion of Nigerian students’ funds, while the United Kingdom gets N80bn from Nigerian students. About 75,000 Nigerians are said to be studying in Ghana, paying over $1bn annually for tuition fees and upkeep.”

Contributing to the debate, the Deputy Minority Leader, Toby Okechukwu, said, there should be a clear perspective on the intent of the bill so that it would not be taken on a biased assumption.

However, when the bill was put to a voice vote by Deputy Speaker Ahmed Idris Wase, who presided over the plenary, it was overwhelmingly rejected by the majority of the lawmakers.

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