Governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos State, Jimi Agbaje, has said if elected governor in the forthcoming elections, he will spend as much as 50 percent of the state’s annual budget on the education sector.
Agbaje, who said this while delivering a paper entitled: “The transformation of Lagos: Education as anchor, the big idea,” at the Lagos Business School in Lagos, yesterday, said his vision for Lagos is anchored on an education-driven economy.
“I will, as governor of Lagos State, if necessary, be prepared to spend as much as 50 percent of our annual budget on education, education eco system and education value chain.
“I will bet the future of Lagos State on an elaborate education and skills development value proposition. I will create an education driven-economy,” he said.
He said he is prepared to commit (subject to the state’s absorptive capacity) up to N500 billion, “to establish and recalibrate our educational eco system and its related value chain in our first year; and strive for a minimum of 45 percent of total annual budget thereafter.”
Agbaje also said he plans to devote 50 percent of the state’s annual budget to education, by getting all the state’s Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to allocate substantial portions of their budgets towards the education eco system and value chain.
In addition, he said he would make the schools, other education institutions and skills development centres, the “heart of every community in the 20 local goverment areas.”
Similarly, he said within the first six months of coming to power, his administration will rehabilitate all the 1,700 existing state schools, “ through open tending process driven by a block chain procurement system, to aid the selection of a myriad of vendors, which would include larger companies that must work with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) within the framework of a youth and women engagement programme.”
He emphasised that rehabilitation will include borehole facilities for water, power generators for electricity supply and internet access for digital connectivity in every school.
Agbaje said his government also plans to pay additional allowances and fresh privileges to teachers to encourage the right people into the teaching profession.
According to him, his administration will locate as much as possible, primary health care centres near or within the premises of every primary school which will be manned by qualified doctors and nurses, serving as neighbourhood clinics to deal with basic ailments.