In order to address the high percentage of children in Nigeria who are not in school, Gombe State Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya has asked UNICEF for assistance.
In a statement released by his Director-General of Press Affairs, Ismaila Uba Misilli, the governor took the decision.
The high rate of out-of-school youth in Gombe and other states of the federation, according to Yahaya, who is a member of the Nigerian delegation at the current 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, was caused by a number of factors, including poverty, insecurity, and cultural beliefs.
He made the point that stepping up funding for the Fourth Sustainable Development Goal (SDG4), which calls for inclusive and equitable quality education and the promotion of opportunities for lifelong learning for all, would help slow the growth in the number of children who are not in school and also help the fight against poverty.
According to UNICEF data, there were 550,000 out-of-school children in Gombe alone by 2019, and as of today, the numbers have increased as a result of some displaced people’s settlement or rehabilitation.
“You know, we share a border with the other five Northeastern states. Since the majority of them have moved owing to Gombe’s security and safety, which has added to our already existing problems, we must decide where and how.
By now, there should be around 600,000, in my opinion. Nevertheless, we have been able to absorb 350,000 during the last three or four years.
“We want to make sure that every child in Gombe has access to a free, high-quality education. According to the ideals of universal free education as prescribed by the Sustainable Development Goals, he added, “at the very least, up to the basic education.”
The governor expressed faith in the capacity of UN organisations to offer technical assistance, knowledge, and resources to aid in problem-solving.