President Muhammad Buhari on Tuesday decried the alarming increase in the number of out of school children in the country, saying state governments should be held responsible for the rising number of almajiris in any state.
The President also noted that elites in such states who failed to point this error out to the governments were equally liable.
“The issues of health and education are constitutional. If there are too many almajiris in a state, then the government is not following the constitution.
“The states also have elites who are educated enough to remind their governments about their responsibility to almajiris,’’ he said
Accordingly, Buhari urged states and local governments to play stronger roles in complementing the efforts of the Federal Government, especially in getting more children into classrooms.
On the spate of insecurity in the country, the President said successes recorded in degrading terrorists in the North East would be extended to various parts of the country experiencing challenges, assuring Nigerians that security still tops his list of priorities.
President Buhari, who received executive members of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) led by the President, Dr Francis Adedayo Faduyile, at the State House, noted that offenders took advantage of the focus on the North East to commit crimes in other parts of the country.
“If you cannot secure a country or institution, you cannot manage it,’’ he said
The President noted that efforts were still ongoing to improve employment level, following the success in getting many into the agricultural sector, stressing that opening up the economy for investments and getting the youths engaged will control crime rate.
In his remarks, the President of the NMA congratulated President Buhari for winning a second term in office, attributing his return to efforts made by the government to reposition the country, especially in health sector, like establishment of a cancer centre in University of Lagos Teaching Hospital.
Dr. Faduyile commended the President for always looking towards the NMA to appoint competent members for positions in the health sector, assuring that the medical association will continue to partner with the government to bring good health services to Nigerians.
He said there was a need to make the National Health Insurance Scheme compulsory for all Nigerians, including those in the informal sector, as some special treatments, like cancer, will require funds that might be beyond the reach of many.
The NMA President urged the Federal Government to further strengthen the primary health care system, institute a health bank where medical professionals can access loans for facilities, remove duties on imported medical equipment and give more attention to security.
He canvassed that the budget on health should be improved from 4 per cent to 15 per cent.