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Bill to Ban Children of Public Officers from Studying Abroad Passes Second Reading at the Senate



There are some bills which come to the floor of the Nigerian Senate, gets debated upon, passes first and maybe second reading and then gets quickly trashed. From the time the bill is proposed, you immediately know that it won’t fly. But for formality sake, it gets a reading.

This one seems like one of such.

A bill which seeks to prevent children of public office holders from schooling abroad has passed second reading in the Senate.

The bill, if passed, will restrict children of public office holders from schooling abroad except for specialized courses not offered in any of the country’s educational institutions.

Channels TV reports that the sponsor of the bill, Senator Mohammed Basheer (PDP Kano) said the country’s education sector is confronted with serious challenges and it has become important for the Senate to adopt drastic measures to rescue the ailing educational system.

The bill was among three bills which passed second reading in the Senate earlier today without being debated.

I’m pretty sure that if a head count was to be conducted at the Senate, over half of the Senators have their children either schooling abroad, or plan to, or have completed their studies abroad. And I don’t think it is a practice they are willing to stop.

The sponsor of the bill noted that “it has become important for the Senate to adopt drastic measures to rescue the ailing educational system.” Pardon me Sir, but this doesn’t seem like a drastic measure to me. It rather seems like an unrealistic measure.

Yes, our education sector needs an urgent revamping. So does the health sector, security, agriculture, power and more. I think its better the Senate focuses on bills to improve funding and ensure transparency and accountability in such sectors rather than debating on bills we all know will not be passed into law. Or maybe I’m too hasty to judge. Maybe it can actually be passed into law. You tell me.

What are your thoughts?

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Adeola Adeyemo is a graduate of Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from University of Lagos. However, her passion is writing and she worked as a reporter with NEXT Newspaper. She believes that anything can be written about; anything can be a story depending on the angle it is seen from and the writer's imagination. When she is not writing news or feature articles, she slips into her fantasies and creates interesting fiction pieces. She blogs at


  1. Soraya

    October 4, 2012 at 11:00 pm

    well said- there are far more important issues to focus on!!!

  2. Concerned Native

    October 4, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    these people dont make sense, what if the kids get a scholarship from abroad to study. I say they shouldnt be allowed to use nigeria’s money to put their children in school abroad. And the only way that can happen is if these allowances these pubic officals get are cut or removed and also stopping corruption. That is the only way the school system will change, and also stopping croynism and nepotism, because i have seen people who havent passed class five teaching classes just because their cousin happens to be a politician.

  3. Sabirah

    October 4, 2012 at 11:10 pm

    …And even in the rare case that it does pass into law, how exactly will it be enforced? Abeeegi!

    • pAUL

      October 5, 2012 at 1:41 pm

      It would be enforced where ppl like you and i bring actual facts and evidence before a regulatory agency or court. They have the Bill and the Constitution to screen the case and if proven to be a substantial breach, the verdict will equally be spelt out.

  4. faith

    October 4, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    This is absolute nonsense becus their own children are presently abroad.

  5. ucylo

    October 4, 2012 at 11:24 pm

    I agree with you with all my strenght

  6. Ngozi

    October 5, 2012 at 12:12 am

    Honestly speaking, I think it should be passed. The schools in the US and Europe are all doing great because the children of public officers attend those school and their parents are passing bills to make sure that their children are getting the best education.
    Education in Nigeria will be excellent, if these public officers enroll their children in our schools. Trust be told, that is the only way that our educational system can take a new leaf, because their parents will be force to make sure that their children get a very good education.
    If we say that there are other sectors (such as, health sector, security, agriculture, power, etc) that need more help, then when are we ever going to start to seek the change that Nigeria desperately needs?
    I pray the bill and similar ones like this is passed, because that will be a great step in the right direction.
    One of the problems I can think of is how is it going to be enforced / implemented? because Nigerians are very dubious. #theTrustHurt

    I love Nigeria and I want great things for her!

    • Ngozi

      October 5, 2012 at 12:15 am

      *Truth be told….. #theTruthHurts

    • uchechi

      October 5, 2012 at 1:54 am

      As an educationalist, I wholly agree with you Ngozi, and with the bill. Those who are sceptical about its passage clearly have not understood that the real power in deciding whether or not this bill is passed/ implemented/ enforced lies in the communal effort of the masses. There is no country in the world. I repeat, no country in the world, where you have high education quality but yet children of public office holders primarily utilise foreign schools. It just doesn’t happen. This may seem like a draconian suggestion but legislation is one way by which we can at least get the nation’s elite truly interested in education again. Where your treasure is…there your heart is abi? Well, if your child has to attend Ajangbadi or Oshodi High School, I promise you that you will do everything in your power to make that school excellent. I hope the bill flies. Shikena.

    • choclate

      October 5, 2012 at 11:20 am

      Absolutely love your comment. If we look at it this way, all these public officers will begin to invest in our state schools, universities and secondary and primary. This will enable all of the Nigerian children (which are the next generation of leaders) to be provided with excellent education . From this, the whole health, agriculture and power sector will definitely improve in the long run! And besides that, i’m sure that the huge disparity between the rich and poor might finally reduce.

  7. Tony

    October 5, 2012 at 12:23 am

    Funny. This bill is dead in the House. Wonder why these men keep wasting time trying to make us think they’re working on how to shoot themselves in the foot! It can’t happen. Even if the bill luckily gets passed and signed into law, it will, like MANY MANY other laws, remain dormant. For instance, who will stop the the senate president’s last born from obtaining a study visa to Canada for his Master Degree? Is it the Education Minister, the Foreign Affairs Minister? The Inspector General of Police? The Chief of Army Staff?

    These men are busy discussing a useless bill while they’re supposed to be amending our constitution. I thought they said the constitution amendment will receive accelerated attention once it is started. How about the PIB still lying on the floor of the Senate? Please, there are other FAR MORE URGENT legislation that need “Second Readings”.

  8. Kay OLU

    October 5, 2012 at 12:36 am

    @ Ngozi: it might surprise you to know that most of them do not career about the quality of education received by their children. They already have positions waiting for them after graduation. What we really need is force the government to invest in education in a transparency manner.

  9. Papa

    October 5, 2012 at 1:15 am

    Stupid law. What if the kids are citizens of Yankee or Jand, what law could possibly stop them from schooling abroad? The Nigerian legislature is one big joke.

    OBAMA 2012!

  10. brittany

    October 5, 2012 at 3:21 am

    all of u that do not have the opportunity to study abroad should shut up…instead of them focusing on the more important things they are here passing useless bills….all of u should clear off let God’s kingdom come and solve the world’s problems..I no longer understand the joke y’all are cracking there init!

    • rew

      October 5, 2012 at 4:29 pm

      Did you forget to take your meds this morning?

    • kola

      October 6, 2012 at 10:37 pm

      lmao… I love your comment. hahaha Shut the hell up, Brittany or whatever you call yourself.

    • oluwaferanmi

      October 17, 2012 at 2:57 pm

      pls ask her again

    • oluwaferanmi

      October 17, 2012 at 3:01 pm

      bcos u studied abroad does nt mean u shld paint it n d faces of dose dat didnt….stop behaving like some1 who lacks manners

  11. Ib

    October 5, 2012 at 4:19 am

    Joblessness!they dont know what else to scurry for.I don’t say this because i am against the bill but because we know the Senate to be…ALL TALK AND NO ACTION!Yes,i had to use the shouty capitals my Fifty shades of grey people.#wink#

  12. Daisy

    October 5, 2012 at 4:38 am

    Ngozi & concerned native I haven’t heard such crap in my life b4. Nigerian universities probably have the lowest rate of admissions given to applicants. Every year possibly thousands of people go in for law, Medicine and engineering courses, but the schools only manage to admit a few hundreds. If you were a parent, would u wish another year of JAMB and post UME exams on ur child, simply because u want the education system in Niegria to be better?
    Is it the public officers who make ASUU go on strike? Or cult boys and miscreants to disturb the peace in our schools? And what do you mean Nigeria’s money? If you work in a company, earn your money and send your children to school, would it be fair for someone to say you have used the “company’s money” to send them to school?
    Please stop this poor man’s ranting. If you could afford it, you’d probably do it.
    Senators have very important issues facing the country, the choice of where a few students school should not at all be an issue discussed in that house.

    • Jtoni

      October 5, 2012 at 10:01 am

      How do you have? Everyday, occupy Nigeria, occupy Nigeria. People are talking about how to change this country for the better, you are talking about being poor. I have heard of people like Dangote, but never heard of Daisy, the Billionaire. Maybe you have N40,000 under your pillow. Give us a break and be reasonable. Billionaires like Bill Gate and Branson don’t visit blogs to make comments. Onyara!!!!

    • Mz Socially Awkward...

      October 5, 2012 at 1:45 pm

      I’ve read and re-read Daisy’s comment and I still don’t get the angle of your retort… not that I wholeheartedly agree with Daisy but I’m not sure what your counter-argument is, exactly…

  13. anon

    October 5, 2012 at 6:26 am

    I think this bill should be seen as an opportunity to raise the profile of the given issue. Whether it gets passed is irrelevant, it can be effective IF it prompts a public debate but then again the public have to be interested in the issue raised. So Soraya, more important issues than education to focus on?
    Someelse mentioned the allowances that enable senators to readily afford the costs of foreign education for their children. Thank you.
    In some parts of the world, public officials who send their children to private schools can be politically compromised/embarassed as it’s seen as a vote of no confidence in the system they legislate over and run.
    Nothing will change while so many Nigerians appear to be so blasé about their senators and their families getting essential services like health and education abroad.
    Viewing this bill as a waste of time or getting bogged down in wondering about how it could be implemented is beside the point and a wasted opportunity in my opinion.

  14. MEEMO

    October 5, 2012 at 6:51 am


    • deb

      December 22, 2012 at 2:11 am

      I was wandering the same too, you can’t stop people who wishes to travel abroad in order to get work or education or even just for holidays/recreation.
      Humans are free to travel. I think what should be done really is to make sure no public fund is been to used to send their kids to school. If they want their kids schooling abroad they should be able to pay out of their own pocket and not embezzle on the government/countries money

  15. Brandigest

    October 5, 2012 at 6:58 am

    Again our leaders are starting from the middle. The solution from the poor standard of our eductional system is it to ban this privilged kids from studying abroad? NO. It is not like it will be implemented. So they want us to believe that GEJ children will now be found in Nigeria four walls? Let them battle corruption to a standstill, do a thorough restructuring of the school system. Government must demand excellence from education administrators and make teaching alluring so as to attract young graduates. The old teachers we have not can par with the sophistication and dynamism of today’s students. I expect to here them pass a bill on strict education perfect model and standard.

  16. faith

    October 5, 2012 at 7:35 am

    THey should. First revamp the educational system. That’s d most iMportant for now!

  17. theresa

    October 5, 2012 at 7:42 am

    i argued with my husband bout this restricting peoples freedom is never right….i dont agree with this bill….n i hope it doesn’t pass

    • davids crib

      October 5, 2012 at 8:27 am

      It’s not restricting of freedom. If one is not happy with the bill, they don’t have to work with the public sector or be public office holders. there are lots of private sector opportunities in teh country. I have friends who refused to carry out youth service, and are quite content knowing that they will never be able to run for political office or work in a parastatal…so it’s a choice.

  18. nems

    October 5, 2012 at 9:47 am

    This sounds RIDICULOUS, but I understand the sense behind the madness. However people send their kids abroad not only for education but to expose them to the world and different cultures. I agree with Faith to REVAMP the Ediucational system.

  19. nems

    October 5, 2012 at 9:48 am


  20. Sylvia

    October 5, 2012 at 9:54 am

    Even if the bill eventually gets passed into law, how many of them can truthfully keep to it?

  21. chick

    October 5, 2012 at 10:16 am

    this is serus bull-..jokers

  22. Tahira

    October 5, 2012 at 11:22 am

    It’s stupidity at its peak! instead of challenging and finding ways to deal with more important issues Nigerian senate squabbles over whether or not the children of official study abroad?! Wow! for starters which one be your own If I wish to send my child abroad? My money my prerogative my child! Even if they were looking at it from the angle of corruption it still makes no sense. How will the education sector work better if these kids were schooling in Nigeria? Don’t fool yourselves. Wake up stop blaming others and find real solutions to the issues at hand.

  23. choclate

    October 5, 2012 at 11:26 am

    Absolutely love your comment. If we look at it this way, all these public officers will begin to invest in our state schools, universities and secondary and primary. This will enable all of the Nigerian children (which are the next generation of leaders) to be provided with excellent education . From this, the whole health, agriculture and power sector will definitely improve in the long run! And besides that, i’m sure that the huge disparity between the rich and poor might finally reduce. This will also encourage public officers that actually have the people’s interests at heart to run for office because they all seem to forget that their job requires them to to serve the public, which is us, with altruism, I pray the bill passes in Jesus’ name!

  24. Berry Choco Latte

    October 5, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    What’s next? Can’t go abroad for medical treatment? No wait, let’s make sure they can’t drive around when they go on holiday, cos maybe they’ll then fix the roads in Nigeria! No, that’s too easy… how do we make sure electricity’s a non-issue? Eureka, I’ve got it! They’re not allowed to travel to any country that has constant power!

    Smart thinking!

  25. Ally

    October 5, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    This is absolutely crap! If a public officer steals money and puts it into sending his kids to good schools abroad, well then I say well done smart thief. It’s a lot better that buying cars, houses, expensive champaign and all of those things Nigerians coin ‘luxury’. Please check how many CEOs impacting Nigeria fully studied there. We need as much help as SECAM get from foreign institutions so whoever brought about that bill might as well just shove it!

  26. Daisy

    October 5, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    Jtoni, who are u refering to as onyara. Isn’t it only a poor man who seeks to restrict the progress of others? A mallam who is probably not in support of higher education brings up such a law, and u come here to argue insanely. Do you know how many citizens of the US go to school in Europe and vice versa. Like I said earlier, if u cannot afford it, it is fine. Just don’t try to drag others down to your level.
    Once again, the challenges facing Nigeria are too many, laws as stupid of this should have honestly been tossed out long before we could even hear of it.

  27. Shoo shoo

    October 5, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    This is a whole lot of dog doo doo and a violation of human rights. I’m pretty sure they are countless number of ways even a child can think of to improve our educational system and many other ailing sectors. How about they cut the government spending or at least redistribute it to where it hurts Nigeria instead of their asses. Improve quality of living and people won’t be to quick to run away from her motherland.

    This goes to show you how silly and quite frankly stupid our leaders are.

  28. baby gurlz

    October 5, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    Am going to try to be very calm. I have recently just returned to nigeria from europe where I went to study and honestly, if I had a choice of better education here I would have stayed. Studying abroad is fantastic for xposure etc but that is also why proper educational systems have student exchange programs so you can learn different cultures. We all should stop this habit of filling only our pockets, if this step of banning big men children from going abroad would reform our educational system, why don’t we all join hands and make it happen? Wouldn’t we all benefit from it? Would we all have kids in the future? Don’t we all crave some stability for our lives instead of working endlessly to make sure we send our kids abroad? Evrything in nigeria needs a reform but we have to start from somewhere! All this false life and big crazy shopping abroad isn’t the way forward! Evryone is trying to live big, people no longer spend naira its now dollars! Why? Let’s all sit back and think pls.

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