Save the Children, an international humanitarian agency, says at least 2.2 million children in the north-east are in need of immediate education in emergency support.
Addressing a press conference in Abuja on Wednesday, Florence Otedola (better known as DJ Cuppy), the agency’s global ambassador, said at least 800 schools in the region are not functional.
Children are among the worst hit in the Boko Haram insurgency which has been rocking the north-east for a decade.
Over two million people are said to have been displaced in the conflict, out of which about one million are children “who do not know their parents”.
According to Otedola, Nigerian children face daily threats of being killed, abducted, recruited by armed groups or falling victims to sexual violence.
She said the agency’s statistics show there is one out of five children living in areas affected by armed conflict in the north-east.
“Children’s education is under attack and the time is now to change that,” she said.
Otedola lamented childhoods “that come to an early end, significantly because of ill-health, malnutrition, exclusion from education, child marriage, early pregnancy and violent death”.
“Over 800 schools, particularly in Borno state, are still not functional mainly due to inaccessibility as as a result of insecurity. These children’s education cannot wait,” she added.
“A conducive environment should be created for children to learn, be protected and grow up healthy.
This can be a reality when proper strategies are in place and adequately funded.”