Mr. Peter Hawkins, the United Nations Children Fund’s (UNICEF) representative in Kano State, has said no fewer than one million children are out of school in the state.
Hawkins said this on Monday in Kano during a four-day workshop that was organized for Commissioners and Permanent Secretaries from the 19 Northern States.
The workshop was organized by the Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning, in collaboration with Kano State Government and UNICEF.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that the advocacy workshop is on ensuring the sustainability of results for children through social policy.
Hawkins said the figure of the out of school children, which comprised formal and informal, was obtained from the Federal Ministry of Education.
He noted that Nigeria needed to redouble efforts in addressing the critical issue of out-of-school children and in improving investment in the education sector.
“Investing in children is like investing in the future and also the economic development of the country. Therefore, there is a need for every child to have access to education,“ he said.
Hawkins explained that, “The results achieved in a country as complex, dynamic and diverse as Nigeria can impact not only the West Africa region but the entire African continent.
“This is why collectively we strive to improve the situation of children who are the powerhouse and future of this country.
“The most recent official figure (in 2010) from the National Bureau of Statistics, indicates that Nigeria’s national income poverty rate as 62.6 per cent with 63.8 per cent of it, constituting the rural poor”.