President of the Nigerian Senate, Ahmad Lawan highlights the role of labour in attracting Direct Foreign Investment (DFI) at Senate’s public hearing; as Stakeholders resist move to remove Institute from present location
Stakeholders in the education sector at a public hearing organised by the Senate Committee on Education (Basic and Secondary) on Thursday threw their weight behind a bill to give legal backing to the National Institute for Educational Planning and Administration (NIEPA), Ondo, Ondo state.
The Institute was established in 1992 by the Federal Ministry of Education in collaboration with UNESCO/International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP) as a Staff College for Planners and Managers in the Nigeria education sector and West Africa sub-region.
President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan who declared the public hearing explained that the bill provides an opportunity for the institute to better supported in the discharge of its mandate more effectively and efficiently. Emphasising the importance of planning in education, Senator Lawan said “If you want Direct Foreign Investment (DFI) or any investment at all, labour is critical.”
According to him, in the 21st economy, “if you want to develop you don’t need to bring people from outside because that will drain your foreign earning,” adding that “with proper educational planning, research and focus in the sector, we could be talking of about 20 million out of school children, not 10 – 14 million being churned out.”
In his welcome address, Chairman of the Senate Committee, Ibrahim Gaidam said that the institute was established in 1992 with three-fold mandate which was intended to move forward the professionalisation of educational planning and administration.
For sponsor of the Bill, Senator Ayo Akinyelure who spoke at the commencement of the public hearing, “sadly despite the institute’s enormous potentials and it’s long years of existence and operations, it does not have an enabling law to regulate it’s activities to strengthen and entrench its core mandates.” Akinyelure, who was vehemently opposed to some subterranean moves to relocate the body, said the institute has operated peacefully for over 30 years from Ondo, Ondo State.
The Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria (TRCN), National Teachers Institute (NTI), Kaduna, National Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) all spoke in support of the passage of the bill and were unanimous in the call to retain the institute in Ondo town of Ondo state.
The Osemawe of Ondo Kingdom, Oba Victor Kiladejo, while supporting the retention of the institute in Ondo said the community donated 801 hectares of land to the institute with 91 buildings, road infrastructure and sporting facilities.
The paramount ruler was represented by Prof. Femi Mimiko, a former Vice Chancellor of Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, Ondo state.