“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” —Malcolm X
Governor Abdullahi A. Sule of Nasarawa state took the oath of office for the second term on 29th May, 2023, and, by the special grace of God, Tuesday, 5th September, 2023, will mark his 100 days in office.
On assuming office as the fourth democratically elected governor of Nasarawa state, Engineer Sule designed a template to revolutionise the education sector. This is evident as the governor is prioritising education above other sectors in the state. It is said that any government that fails to prioritise Goal 4 of SDGs set by the United Nations in September 2015 is bound to experience backwardness, failure and instability. The affirmative action stresses the provision of qualitative, accessible, and affordable education for all.
Peter Brougham says, “Education makes a people easy to lead but difficult to drive; easy to govern, but impossible to enslave.”. Education plays pivotal role in all of our lives and paves the way for all of us to reach our highest potential. When we talk about the importance of education in life, it is extremely important to understand what education is.
According to Stella van Petten Henderson, education is a combination of growth and human development with social legacy. There is a popular adage that said “if education is a yardstick to the way of success, try ignorance.” While another school of thought says, “Don’t try ignorance, education is cheaper.”
The 26 percent budgetary benchmark set by UNESCO for the education sector is a reality in Nasarawa state, given Governor Sule’s consideration since the assumption of office in the first term to date. The education sector in the past four years has received far above the required 26% yearly budgetary provision enshrined in the UN/SDGs recommendations without prejudice.
The present administration has been very fair in giving attention to the educational sector cutting across primary, secondary, and tertiary institutions of learning. These landmarks are obvious when viewed from a holistic perspective. They include: The establishment of NSUK Faculty of Engineering in Gudi; the award of contract for the completion of 1 block of three classrooms at the Police Children School, Ende-Hills; donation of six classrooms and land for the establishment and immediate take-off of Police Secondary School, Gudi.
Others are: approval for the continuous recruitment of teachers across the state; provision of furniture to public primary, secondary, and tertiary institutions in the state; award of contracts for the construction of new structures in schools across the state; taking over and funding of the Second Chance Model School in Akwanga, among many other achievements.
Notwithstanding the giant strides in various sectors, particularly road infrastructure across Nasarawa state, Governor Sule must be appreciated for being education-friendly in his policies and programmes. Sule has laid a sound and solid foundation for education to thrive in the state, considering the monumental funds expended on the sector.
No wonder, Nasarawa State University Keffi is rated as one of the best and fast growing universities in the country by NUC. Our graduates and secondary school leavers have excelled in many human endeavours courtesy of a deliberate policy by the Sule government.
As part of his determination to keep the spirit of leadership in motion, he appointed a mini-cabinet immediately he was sworn-in for a second term as governor of the state. The mini-cabinet comprises secretary to the state government, senior special assistants, special assistants, and personal assistants.
In an unusual manner, the governor appointed youths and new breeds into that circle of leadership. This is aimed at building new leaders who will be able to run the affairs of the state and the federation in the near future. Luckily for me, I was taken unawares by this nation builder, Sule, when I was busy managing, fixing, and coordinating a police institution of learning at Ende-Hills, Nasarawa state, when I received news of my appointment.
For the record, my appointment as special assistant to the governor on education was the governor’s invitation to accord me the opportunity to contribute my quota in governance. A golden opportunity I appreciated and will cherish for a very long time.
After our inauguration and assumption of office at the Ministry of Education, I swung into action. I provided meaningful memos, ideas, information, and policies that impacted greatly on the ministry’s activities. I have also had the opportunity to serve in many committees and sub-committees in the ministry and outside within my short time in office.
I am giving my best in my current capacity as S.A. and wish to do more if given other higher responsibilities by the present administration. The governor has proven that he is indeed a mentor and role model to younger leaders and potential administrators.
In fact, this is not any form of self-praise but permit to say, I have learned and I am still learning from Engineer Sule’s stewardship which has glaringly exposed some of us to understand the dynamics of governance, the complexity of leadership and challenges in providing the dividends of democracy in the 21st century as well as the quest for human development. As Sir Ahmadu Bello of blessed memory will say, “If you develop the people, the people will develop the community.”
We say thank you on this roll call of 100 days of the second term in office for the silent strides of Governor Sule in the education sector.
Adamu is the special assistant on education to Nasarawa state governor.