Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday said that the government will sustain its ongoing efforts to end child marriage and improve girl-child education in the country.
Buhari, while commissioning the new headquarters building of the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs in the capital, Abuja, said it is the collective duty of all to ensure that “mothers of today and tomorrow are educated, encouraged and empowered”.
“Our quest is to ensure that concerns of women, children, and other vulnerable citizens are given prominence and ultimately addressed. A key priority of our government is the development and implementation of social inclusion and economic sustenance policies. Our determination is to ensure that economic growth and prosperity are felt by as wide a circle as possible,” the president said.
According to him, the Nigerian government is particularly laying great emphasis on the education of the girl-child.
He said the high level of young girls who are out of school or unable to complete school due to socio-economic pressures is disturbing and must be addressed.
In 2016, the Nigerian government launched a five-year National Strategy to End Child Marriage, a scheme which has been widely identified as the first critical step toward increasing children’s access to quality all-round education and enhancing the retention of the girl-child in local schools.
Also speaking at the event, Peter Hawkins, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) representative in Nigeria, noted across different spheres of society, many women and girls remain marginalized, as girls are less likely to progress to tertiary level education in the country.
“The United Nations will continue to support the Nigerian government in the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” Hawkins added. Enditem