Nigerians in UK raise N23m to curb out-of-school crisis
Nigerians in the United Kingdom (UK) have raised about N23 million in their bid to tackle the out-of-school problem in Nigeria, which has forced 20.2 million kids out of school.
The amount was raised at the fourth yearly Black-Tie Charity Ball, organised by the international charity, IA-Foundation, in London on Tuesday night.
According to the Chief Executive Officer of IA-Foundation, Mrs. Ibironke Adeagbo, Nigerians in UK from all walks of life attended the event in their numbers, to show their solidarity to IA-Foundation’s efforts to tackle the menace of young children staying out of school in the West African country.
Nigeria, which is Africa’s top petroleum exporter, has a huge chunk of its younger population out-of-school, according to United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
However, the British-registered IA-Foundation has risen to the challenge since 2019 to tackle the problem and get the international community and the Nigerian government to rise to the challenge.
In a speech she delivered at the charity ball, Adeagbo reiterated the need for people of goodwill to help Nigeria to salvage the future of its children.
She stressed the need for Nigerians everywhere to make collaborative social investments in the education sector to put every Nigerian kid in the classroom.
Adeagbo noted that no effort should be spared in ensuring that the 20.2 million out-of-school children in Nigeria were given opportunities to access quality education.
She urged Nigerians in the Diaspora to be part of the army of impact-makers, contributing to secure the future of not just children but Nigeria at large.
Speaking on ‘Securing the Future: the Imperative of Quality Education for All’, the founder of the Nigerian Global Business Forum, Afolabi Andu, said that providing education for a child in a family could be the game-changer for generations from that family. He described Nigerians as people with great potential to thrive and excel, if given the opportunity.
Andu appealed to wealthy individuals and corporate bodies to create opportunities for thousands of children on Nigerian streets by supporting education initiatives for the poor.
In a goodwill message, former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria and 14th Emir of Kano, Lamido Sanusi, lauded IA-Foundation for bringing the attention of the world to the state of education in Nigeria.
According to him, it is not enough to send a child to school, but it is more important to examine the quality of education that the child is receiving.
“It is important to have teachers, facilities and the curriculum to give quality education to learners. “In Nigeria, we have horizontal inequalities where certain regions are more disadvantaged than others with Northern Nigeria having the highest rate of out-of-school children,’” Sanusi said.
Earlier, the Nigerian High Commissioner to the UK, Sarafa Ishola, stressed the need to give quality education to the younger segment of the population.
“A huge number of our children are not getting education, and those being educated are harvested by other countries,” he stated. The Board Chairman of IA-Foundation, Mr. Jide Olagundoye, commended the foundation for the impact it was making over the years in addressing the out-of-school crisis. He assured that the foundation would continue to make the difference for less-privileged Nigerian kids to give them assured future.