Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, has called for an increase in the minimum educational qualification for persons aspiring to be future presidents of Nigeria and other top offices.
He said this on Monday while giving the 52nd Convocation Lecture at the University of Lagos, Akoka.
His lecture, titled, ‘Building Back Better: Creating a New Framework for Tertiary Education in Nigeria in the 21st Century,’ assessed the conditions of tertiary education in Nigeria and suggested the specific actions needed to bridge the gap so as to compete favourably in the 21st century.
Juatice Amina Adamu of the Supreme Court was the chairman of the Convocation lecture.
Gbajabiamila argued that since the age for eligibility to contest those offices had been reduced, it was necessary the minimum educational requirement was increased.
He maintained that it would be another step in reforming the electoral system and providing strong leadership for the country.
“I also sincerely believe that the National Assembly needs to look into section 131(D) of the 1999 constitution with a view to increasing the minimum educational qualification for persons aspiring to be future presidents of Nigeria and other top offices including the National Assembly as against the current minimum requirement of a secondary School Certificate or its equivalent.”
He also called on the tertiary education to promote entrepreneurship and vocational skills in all courses.
“In the new world order, there will always be more businesses to establish than jobs to be found. Our educational focus should better prepare our citizens to be entrepreneurs, instead of being job seekers,” he said.
While speaking on how to finance the tertiary education in Nigeria, he said he had sponsored a bill at the National Assembly which would provide interest free loans to students.
“Presently before the National Assembly is a bill, the Students Loan (Acess To Higher Education) Bill, which I sponsored and which sets out to provide interest free loans to students. The repayment of these loans shall commence two years after completion of the National Youth Service.”
Other UNILAG officials at the convocation were, the Pro-Chancellor, Dr Lanre Tejuoso who appreciated the university’s management and Vice-Chancellor, Prof.Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, who reeled out the achievements of the institution in the last one year.