On Wednesday, the Global girl child education icon, Malala Yusufzai, met with the Vice President, Kashim Shettima, in Abuja, canvassing “complete education” for all Nigerian children.
The Nobel laureate was part of 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.
Speaking with journalists after the meeting with the VP, Malala said her message to the Nigerian government was a call 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; 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.
Earlier, the Vice President told the UN delegation that the Bola Tinubu-led Federal Government 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, according to a statement by the State House Director of Information, Office of the Vice President, Olusola Abiola.
The VP said Tinubu remained fully committed to issues of girl-child education and gender empowerment and would 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.”
He assured the Malala Fund of the Federal Government’s partnership with the organisation for the greater good of Nigeria.
The UNDSG, Amina Mohammed, commended the Federal Government for its 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, Mohammed said she was in Nigeria with Malala, 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 advocate for education here in this country,” she said.
Malala had also visited the Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, on Tuesday in Maiduguri.
“My visit is to remind the world to think about the hundreds of millions of girls around the world who still do not have access to education,” she told the governor.
Zulum, in his remarks, expressed grief that about two-thirds of women in the North-West and North-East had not acquired western education.
He, however, disclosed that the state government enrolled 500,000 girls in public schools in the state.