Vice President Kashim Shettima on Wednesday said the Tinubu-led administration was committed to educating the girl child to position them as key contributors to national development.
“President Bola Tinubu is fully and unequivocally committed to the girl-child education and gender empowerment initiatives,” Shettima said when he received a delegation from the United Nations led by the UN Deputy Secretary-General and Chair of the United Nations Sustainable Development Group, Mrs Amina Mohammed, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The State House Director of Information, Office of the Vice President, Olusola Abiola, revealed this in a statement he signed on Wednesday titled ‘Tinubu Administration Fully Committed To Girl-Child Education, Gender Empowerment Initiatives, Says VP Shettima.’
The VP said Tinubu remains fully committed to issues of girl-child education and gender empowerment and will promote the same in the policies and programmes of the Federal Government under his watch.
According to him, “the present administration will vigorously pursue the SDGs goals 4 and 5.
“President Bola Tinubu is a passionate and committed advocate of girl-child education.
“He believes in the empowerment of our women. He believes that the prosperity and respect of every society is directly proportional to how they treat their women folk.”
The Vice President also commended the UNDSG and the Co-founder of the Malala Fund for their efforts in promoting girl-child education, among other initiatives.
He said, “Amina Mohammed stands today as a symbol of hope for the African woman for her resilience, commitment and disposition and, most importantly her integrity.
“She is an oasis of hope in an unending ocean of poverty and depravity, while Malala is an icon of hope and change in a despairing world.”
He assured the Malala Fund of the Federal Government’s partnership with the organisation for the greater good of Nigeria.
In separate remarks, the UNDSG, Amina Mohammed and Co-Founder of Malala Fund, Malala Yousafzai, commended the Federal Government for their efforts in promoting goals 4 and 5 of the Sustainable Development Goals, observing progress in the areas of gender equity and education of girls across the country.
Speaking to journalists after the meeting, Mrs Mohammed, said she was at the State with Ms Yousafzai, whose story and influence could strengthen the campaign for girl child education in Nigeria.
“Ten years ago, Malala made her speech at the UN. She is the UN Peace Messenger.
“This time around, she decided on her 10th anniversary she wanted to make the advocacy for education here in this country,” she said.
The UN Deputy scribe noted that Nigeria has many out-of-school children and subpar education quality in most regions.
“An advocacy to an administration that is coming in, that believes in education is an important timing.
“So, her (Malala) voice, her inspiration, not just to government, but the rest of society, to governors that we met yesterday, is extremely important as this administration begins its journey of the next four years,” she added.
Also speaking, Malala Yousefzai called for free and quality education for every child in the country.
“I would ask here in Nigeria that all governments of states, all party members commit to ensure that every child in Nigeria has access to a complete education, which includes senior secondary education as well; that every child has access to free and quality education and the second I ask is that we make a full financial commitment to ensure that no child is left behind in this country,” she said.
Amongst members of the delegation were the UN Resident Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr Matthias Schmale; the Executive Director, UN Office of Partnerships Ms. Annemarie Hou; the Special Assistant to the DSG, Ms. Hadiza Elayo; the Senior Advisor to the Resident Coordinator, Mr Frederic Eno, and Co-Founder Malala Fund, Mr. Ziauddin Yousafzai.