IBADAN — Former Minister of Petroleum, Professor Tam David-West, yesterday, in Ibadan, said it was unfair for a government that budgeted N1 billion each, for feeding the President and the Vice President, to say there was no money to fund education.
David-West said it showed that there were more thieves in government than saints, claiming that the same government that spent N8 trillion illegally must be made by all Nigerians to fund public education.
The former minister, who spoke at a town hall meeting organised by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Ibadan Chapter, also condemned the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, over her comments on the funding of education.
He said: “Any government that fails to invest in education is a vagabond government. The problem with Nigeria is that we have more thieves than saints in government. We drill over two million barrels of crude oil per day. Why should we be poor? ASUU is saying put money in education to improve education quality for our children and those yet unborn. The same government that does not have money for education budgeted N1 billion each to feed the president and vice president for a year. Are they eating rock in Aso Rock? If you went to school without shoes ensure that your children have shoes. Good parents pray that their children must be better than them.”
He argued that good academic qualification did not qualify one to be a good leader, saying, “It is not having university degree that makes you a good leader. Late Yar’Adua and Jonathan are the first set with university degrees but that has not translated to significant changes. Winston Churchill was not the best in his class but one of the best leaders the world has ever produced.”