Presidential candidate of Labour Party (LP) in the 2023 general elections Mr Peter Obi has said poverty and insecurity remained significant obstacles that undermine efforts to reduce the number of out-of-school children in Nigeria.
According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Nigeria has the highest number of out-of-school children in the world, estimated at over 18.5 million. Obi said insecurity was caused by poverty and pulling people out of poverty is key to reducing criminality.
Speaking during the 2023 graduation ceremony of students from Pacesetters Schools in Abuja yesterday, the former Anambra governor noted that deliberate investment in education was necessary to achieve this goal.
Obi said addressing poverty and insecurity in Nigeria is crucial for increasing access to education and reducing the number of out-of-school children. He noted that poverty and insecurity were significant obstacles that undermine efforts to reduce the number of out-of-school children in Nigeria.
He said education is the most important thing any nation needs. He cited various studies that demonstrated how education differentiated development and underdevelopment, adding that education is essential for human development, health and increasing the nation’s per capita income.
He stated that without an educated society, it would be impossible to have a healthy society or lift people out of poverty. He recalled that during a meeting with development experts involved in advocacy across the 36 states, he discussed the problem of security in Nigeria.
Obi stressed the critical importance of education and highlighted the alarming statistic that UNESCO reported. He compared this number to the combined populations of countries like Norway, Iceland, Singapore, and Dubai, which were less than 20 million.
The proprietor of Pacesetters Schools, Abuja, Mr Ken Imansuangbon, encouraged the students to understand the value of patience and perseverance and represent the country as ambassadors.
He said, “We have trained them well. They should go out and represent the country as ambassadors, they are the future of Nigeria.”
Imansuangbon said Nigeria needs change and he believes the training they had received put them in a better position to represent the country because they are the future of Nigeria. The Emir of Dutse, Alhaji Muhammad Hameen Nuhu Sunusi, lamented the falling standard of education in the nation.
He stressed the need to rebuild the nation to halt the popular “japa” syndrome. He noted that if the proprietor of the school becomes the governor of Edo State he would promote the standard of education in the state, to serve as model to other states.