Out-of-school children: FG not responsible says Osinbajo

Friday Olokor

1 September 2021

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The Presidency on Tuesday said the Federal Government was not the cause of most of the problems associated with the education sector in Nigeria, adding that  it was the responsibility of state governments.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), made the clarification in Abuja on Tuesday while declaring open a two-day national dialogue on girls with the theme, ‘National dialogue on girls: Towards a girl-friendly Nigeria.’

The programme was jointly organized by the African Child Policy Forum, Women Arise for Change Initiative and the Africa-Wide Movement for Children.

Osinbajo identified social and cultural prejudices as some of the critical problems militating against the girl child in Nigeria, stressing that despite efforts by the Federal Government to curtail the menace, states and local governments also had roles to play.

He said, “We run a federal system and questions of education, medical care are essential state matters. Primary education is state and local government matter. The Federal Government has only about 100 schools of the hundreds of thousands of schools.

“Sometimes, when we talk about out-of-school children and problems associated with education, we tend to focus on the Federal Government whereas the Federal Government does not run primary school. That is not the business of FG.  It is the business of state and local government.”

Osinbajo advised victims of child abuse not to take it as the end of life, adding that examples abound of such victims that have shrugged it off to make it in life.

He also states yet to domesticate the Child Rights Act, and the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act to do so.

At the event, President, WACI, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin, said Nigeria has highest prevalence of child marriage in Africa.

The Executive Director, African Child Policy Forum (ACPF),Dr. Joan Nyanyuki, said it was important to recognize that despite concerted efforts, the challenges are fast outpacing efforts, hence the need to redouble efforts.

Earlier, Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Dame Pauline Tallen, described the dialogue as a clarion call on government as well as well-meaning individuals to support the girl child.

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