Education Minister calls for judicious use of $1.2b World Bank loan for adolescent girls education
The Minister of Education, Professor Tahir Mamman, has called for judicious use of the $1.2billion World Bank loan to tackle adolescent girls education in Nigeria.
Professor Mamman stated this in Abuja yesterday while inaugurating the National Steering Committee of the Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment (AGILE) Project.
He said the programme is aimed at increasing access to secondary education among marginalized adolescent girls in Nigeria.
While stressing that the initiative is at the heart of the Federal Government’s out-of-school programme, the Minister tasked states not to be the weakest link.
“This project is at the heart of the priority projects of the Federal Government. In fact, it is the number one because it is part and parcel of the out-of-school programme of the Federal Government. Success here is success for the Federal Government of Nigeria.
“Remember, this is a loan. If we use it wisely the way it is being used now, the benefit is for our country. If we mess it up, it is our loss. Because we will still have to repay,” he said.
On her part, AGILE national project coordinator, Amina Haruna, said the focus was to improve secondary education among girls in the targeted areas in participating states.
She said the programme is aimed at increasing access to secondary education among marginalized adolescent girls in Nigeria.
The AGILE National Project Coordinator listed the 18 participating states to include Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Ekiti, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Plateau, Sokoto, Yobe and Zamfara.
Haruna said over 2.4 million girls benefitted from the programme across seven states.
Also, Shubham Chaudhuri, World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, disclosed that while $500million was initially approved by the Bank, another approval of $700million has brought the facility to $1.2billion.
While calling on states to judiciously utilize the funds, he tasked them to own the programme.
In their separate goodwill messages, Minister of State for Education, Dr Yusuf Sununu; Minister of Youth, Dr. Jamila Ibrahim; and representatives of Ministers of Finance, Wale Edun; Women
Affairs, Uju Ohanenye; Health, Prof. Muhammad Ali Pate; and Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Betta Edu called on all hands to be on deck to ensure success of the programme.
Commissioners of Education in the 18 participating states were also in attendance.
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