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Rep: We can’t achieve development with over 10m of out-of-school children

Rep: We can’t achieve development with over 10m of out-of-school children
November 20
19:33 2023

Bamidele Salam, a member of the house of representatives, says poor access to education is a “major” cause of poverty in the country.

Salam, who is the chairman of the house committee on finance, spoke on Monday at the closing ceremony of the national children leadership conference in Abuja.

The conference was organised to mark the 2023 Universal Children’s Day.

The legislator said it is “unfortunate” that students need “extra” protection in some parts of the country due to the insecurity.


He said a country, especially one like Nigeria with over 10 million out-of-school children, cannot achieve accelerated development when students do not have access to education.

“One of the very important issues this conference is set out to address is the issue of out-of-school children,” Salam said.

“It is not cheering news that Africa’s largest economy — the biggest nation in the black world has a number of out-of-school children that is the most in all the countries of the world.


“No nation can expect to accelerate development and growth with this number of children out of school.

“We should be able to proffer solutions to this problem in a manner that will be sustainable to ensure that all stakeholders, government, civil societies, communities, and religious bodies put hands together to make sure that we take off the children from the street from begging, from roaming about the streets and to the school.

“Lack of access to education is the major cause of poverty and underdevelopment in any country of the world.

“We also have an interesting discussion on school security. In certain parts of this country, it is unfortunate that for a child to go to school, we need extra security because of attacks on children by bandits and hoodlums.


“We also have various types of threats, especially for the girl child in different parts of the federation.

“These are things that we believe that as government, community leaders, opinion moulders, civil society people — we should all focus our attention on doing.”

Salami expressed support for the children advocating for a better life, saying increased investment in education with higher budgetary allocations is needed.

“This is the product of a deep engagement they have had. They have had six plenary sessions from Friday when they arrived in camp and they have discussed all these issues and they have come to the realisation that their voice can be louder than what it is today,” he said.


“When they add their voice to advocacy, I want to tell you that the government will listen, the civil society will listen, and the community leaders will listen.”

He said the school children are demanding that a minimum of 15% of the nation’s budget be earmarked for education and that the government should be more proactive in tackling issues of out-of-school children, insecurity in schools, and girl child education.


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