Catholic Bishops in Nigeria Urge Government to Revitalize Country’s Education System

Bishops of Ibadan Ecclesiastical Province. Credit: Courtesy Photo

Catholic Bishops of Nigeria’s Ibadan Ecclesiastical Province (IEP) have expressed concern about the West African nation’s ailing education system, which they say can be revitalized to address other challenges the country is facing.

In their Tuesday, February 1 communiqué issued following a two-day meeting, the Catholic Bishops attribute increasing level of drug addiction, armed robbery, rape, truancy and other crimes in the country to what they describe as “depressed system of education in our nation.”

“We cannot express enough our concern about the state of education in Nigeria to which many solutions have been proffered with only limited implementation,” the Catholic Bishops in IEP say, and add, “We urge the government at all levels to adequately fund education in Nigeria, paying just wages and remunerations and providing necessary facilities for educational programs.”

In their meeting held at the Jubilee Conference Centre in Ibadan Archdiocese from Monday, January 31 to Tuesday, February 1, the Bishops say that the current education system in Africa's most populous nation is a threat to the future of the youth in the country.

The Catholic Bishops shepherding the people of God in the Catholic Archdiocese of Ibadan and the Dioceses of Ekiti, Ilorin, Ondo, Osogbo, and Oyo call upon Nigeria’s State governments that have seized schools from private owners to return them as one way of salvaging the education system in the country.


“One sure way to stem the slide in our education system is to return seized schools to former owners in order to enhance competition and private sector participation in our education with appropriate regulations,” they say, and add, “We congratulate State governments that have returned schools to their former owners.”

In their collective statement obtained by ACI Africa, the Catholic Bishops in IEP further say that the State governments that have returned seized schools to their original owners are reaping positive rewards and should be emulated by those that are yet to do so.

On education and youth empowerment, the Catholic Church leaders advocate for “positive reorientation of the mindset of the youth to open them more to taking good initiatives for their own empowerment.”

In their two-day meeting, the Catholic Bishops discussed the ongoing preparations for the Synod on Synodality, saying that it aims at ensuring more “diversity” within the internal life of the Church and also ensuring that the views of the marginalized are properly represented within the Synodal dialogue.

“The purpose is to allow the Church to better listen to different segments of the faithful and incorporate their perspective and experience in its mission,” Catholic Bishops in IEP say, and add, “In doing this, we shall embark on a new way of being church, which is more engaging and more inclusive for all the faithful and more meaningful to contemporary realities.”

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They further say, “Consultations with and among different segments of people within and even outside the Church are intended to include as many groups and classes of people in the decision-making process of the Church.”

The Catholic Bishops urge the people of God in Nigeria to adhere to the procedures meant for guiding the Synodal process and feedback reports submitted for the success of the exercise.

On the issue of insecurity in Nigeria, the Bishops express dismay at the continuing bloodshed in many parts of the country and decry recent revelations about “tons of missing firearms from the Nigeria Police armory and similar security gaffes give great cause for worry.”

Lauding President Muhammadu Buhari’s efforts in dealing with terrorist activities, the Bishops say the move is a huge relief to the people of God in the country, and add, “This new position can only be believed however, if a tougher clampdown on such murderous and criminal activities all over the nation can be ensured.”

They continue, “We encourage the security agencies, including the complimentary outfits, to sustain their great work of securing the nation and implore the authorities to adequately support them.”


In their collective statement following their two-day meeting that ended February 1, the Catholic Bishops in IEP urge Nigerians to vote in quality leaders in the country’s elections scheduled for next year.

“With the time for national elections already on the horizon, we wish to urge all Nigerians to work more assiduously to be able to vote for quality leaders which Nigeria urgently needs at this period,” the Catholic Bishops say in the statement signed by the President of the IEP, Archbishop Gabriel Abegunrin.

They also underscore the need for civic education ahead of the elections saying, “It is our desire that pro-democracy groups within and outside the Church kindly help to educate and motivate our people for their civic duties.”

“We urge that only leaders with positive values like proven integrity, truthfulness, trustworthiness and fear of God should be elected as our leaders when the time comes,” the Catholic Bishops in the Nigerian Ecclesiastical Province say further in the statement obtained by ACI Africa.

They say that despite their non-partisan role in determining the right candidates for the country’s leadership, they will not hesitate to “endorse any candidate who professes and embodies positive values that can help our nation to develop strong and functional institutions as a framework for true democracy in our country.”

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The Bishops also say they deliberated on the National Eucharistic Congress with the theme, “Becoming the Eucharist we celebrate – A call to live as one and to serve the ‘weak’”, which is set for November 11 to 13 in the Archdiocese of Benin.

The National Youth Day celebration was also discussed in the two-day meeting, with the Catholic Bishops thanking God for the faith and enthusiasm of the youth in the country.

“We solicit the support of all organs and members of the Church to help them (the youth) celebrate a memorable event,” Catholic Bishops in IEP say.

They add in reference to the National Youth Day set for August this year, “We also commit ourselves to enable all who are involved in the preparations for the event to do all they can to ensure a spiritually enriching and fruitful rendezvous at Ibadan.” the Bishops said.

The Catholic Bishops urged young people to prepare fully for the National Youth so as to have a spiritual, moral and intellectual encounter.

Silas Mwale Isenjia is a Kenyan journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communication from Moi University in Kenya. Silas has vast experience in the Media production industry. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.