By Philip Yatai
Kaduna – The Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) will be disbursing N142.58 billion to support educational development in all states of the country, the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, has said.
Adamu made this known in Kaduna on Wednesday at the opening of a two-day Northern Nigeria Traditional Leaders Conference on Out-of-School Children.
The conference was organised by Federal Ministry of Education, Universal Basic Education Commission, National Commission for Mass Education and Sultan Foundation for Peace and Development in collaboration with UNICEF.
He also said that the World Bank had between 2016 and now issued 611 million dollars credit facility to support states with higher number of out-of-school children in the country.
“The Federal Government had equally deducted N71.292 billion from Paris Club Refund, as outstanding UBEC counterpart Fund owed by states as at August 2018.
“Such financial support to state through UBEC and Tertiary Education Trust Fund and other initiatives would be sustained,” he said.
Adamu called on all relevant stakeholders to join hands in tackling the root causes of out-of-school children in the country.
“We must provide our children with the needed knowledge and skills to realise their potentials and contribute to the development of our dear nation,” he added.
The minister thanked the northern traditional leaders and relevant stakeholders for coming together to express collective commitment to addressing the phenomenon of out-of-school children in the country.
in his message, Gov. Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State, also expressed concern on the increasing number of out-of-school children in the northern part of the country.
According to him, a collective commitment of all stakeholders will go a long way in turning the disturbing educational indices in the north and the country at large.
El-Rufai, who was represented by Prof. Kabiru Mato, Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, said that his administration is working to address the situation in the state.
Earlier, Prof. Salisu Shehu, Deputy Secretary General, Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs called for adequate funding to the education sector, and more sensitisation of parents and care givers to send their children to school.
Similarly, Dr. Aishatu Dukku, Chairperson, House of Representatives Committee on Electoral and Political Party Matters, noted that much needs to be done given the state of education in Northern Nigeria.
Dukku, a former education minister, pointed out that engaging traditional leaders was key to encouraging people to embrace Islamic and western education in the region.