Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
A member of the House of Representatives and Chairman, House Committee on Public Accounts, Hon. Bamidele Salam, has said that no nation can expect to accelerate development and growth with 13.5 million out-of-school children.
He stated this yesterday in Abuja at the National Children Leadership Conference (Abuja 2023) with the Theme: “Rebuilding Nigerian Through Investment in Children’s Education, Welfare And Security’’
The programme which was part of the activities to commemorate this year’s 2023 Universal Children’s Day was organised by Children of Africa Leadership and Values Development Initiative (CALDEV).
The lawmaker noted that the federal government must be proactive in addressing insecurity in schools which, he said, was adding to the number of out-of-school children in the country.
Salam stated: “One of the very important issues this conference is set out to address is the issue of out-of-school children. It is not a cheering news that Africa’s largest economy, the biggest nation in the black world, has a number of out-of-school children that is the most in all the countries of the world, that is 13.5 million children are out of school.
“No nation can expect to accelerate development and growth with this number of children out-of-school, and we should be able to proffer solutions to this problem in a manner that will be sustainable.
“This is to ensure that all stakeholders, government, civil societies, communities, religious bodies, put hands together to make sure that we take off the children from the street from begging, from roaming about the streets and to the school.”
Salam said he stands with the children on their calls for a better deal to make their lives better by calling for more investment in education through increased budgetary allocations to education.
“And so, children are asking that a minimum of 15 per cent of our national budget should be committed to education and that, the government should be more proactive in tackling issues of out-of-school children.
“And these children I assure you will go back to their various schools and communities to become advocates for these same things that are asking the government to do,” he said.