By Felicia Imohimi/ Funmilayo Adeyemi
Sokoto State Government says it spent N500 million in 2017 to improve girls’ enrollment in school.
Gov. Aminu Tambuwal disclosed this at the opening ceremony of a media dialogue on Educate-A-Child (EAC) Cash Transfer Programme (CTP) funded by DFID on Wednesday in Sokoto.
The dialogue was organised by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in collaboration with the Child Rights Information Bureau of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture.
Tambuwal, represented by the state Commissioner for Higher Education, Alhaji Muhammad Kilgori said the investment was to compliment UNICEF efforts in ensuring access, quality and strengthening governance in girls’ education.
The governor who described girl-child education especially in the North as ‘a state of emergency’ said the state was determined to ensure sustainability of the programme and ensure that majority of its children are in school.
He listed other measures adopted by the government to include; collaboration with the Nigerian Navy to build locally fabricated schools to accommodate the upsurge in children’s school enrollment.
“Girls education is a priority to the government and this UNICEF/DFID support programme aim at enhancing equity and quality access to education, social inclusion and poverty reduction, promoting integration, complimentarily, active participation and ownership.
“I am soliciting the continued support of UNICEF to enhance girls’ enrolment in schools to reduce poverty.
“We are very much concerned about girl child education. Our target is to ensure that all the 23 local government areas benefit from this programme as against the six that are currently benefitting.
“We have engaged with traditional rulers to mobilise and sensitise their communities on the need to partake on the CTP,” he said.
Similarly, Sa’ad Abubakar, the Sultan of Sokoto noted that through the programme, the state recorded remarkable achievements in school enrollment, empowerment, and drastic reduction of street hawking among the girls.
Represented by Alhaji Sani Jabbi, the District Head of Gagi, the Sultan said majority of girls in the state were now in school.
Abubakar who identified adolescent education as key in poverty reduction, emphasised that active engagement would ensure that every girl child achieved her educational right.