Over 3m Female Beneficiaries of World Bank Education Grant says FG

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As the country marked the 2023 International Day for the Girl Child celebration on Wednesday in Abuja, Honourable Yusuf Sununu, the Minister of State for Education, revealed that more than 3 million girls all over the country have participated and also benefited from the World Bank’s $500 million loan to Nigeria; under the Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment (AGILE) project.

Honourable Yusuf said that the AGILE project has brought about substantial increase in enrolment and retention of girls in schools across the country.

He further revealed that while more than 90,298 girls have received financial incentives to help them remain in school, about 199,921 girls have also received scholarships in the first 7 implementing states.

He said it is heartbreaking to know that the girl-child in Nigeria is confronted with many challenges throughout history, including discrimination, violence, limited access to education, healthcare, and unequal opportunities which have marred their path. However, the current administration of President Bola Tinubu was aware of these challenges and has taken steps to address them. He also acknowledged that girls in Nigeria have continually displayed resilience, determination and the capacity to overcome adversity.

Using Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as an example, the minister said she’s one of the reasons why attention should be paid to the girl-child’s education, adding that her appointment as the Director-General of the World Trade Organization was a testament to her exceptional leadership and dedication to global economic development.

He also made reference to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a world-renowned author, whose novels have brought global attention to African literature, gender equality, and social justice issues, Amina Mohammed, the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, are a few role models making the country proud.

Sununu said: “In the Nigerian context, our government has undertaken significant policy initiatives aimed at addressing the specific challenges faced by the Nigerian girl child.

“One noteworthy achievement is the substantial increase in girl enrolment and retention in schools with initiatives like the Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment (AGILE) which has reached millions of girls across the country, providing them with education and life skills.

“Under the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Nigeria is expanding the frontiers of girls education with many more state signing on to participate in the AGILE Project.

“This is anchored on the appreciable achievements of the AGILE project, which is being supported by a World Bank $500 million loan and its achievements include reaching over 3 million beneficiaries across 7 states, initiating skills and digital literacy training for 6,000 girls, 90,298 girls have received financial incentives (scholarships) to help them stay in school, and 199,921 girls have received scholarships in the first 7 implementing states,” he said.

The Minister said AGILE and some other projects including the Safe School Initiative, were a testament to the commitment of the federal government in ensuring that every girl child in Nigeria has the opportunity to fulfil her potential, receive quality education, and lead a healthy life.

“We believe that investing in our girls is not just a matter of social justice but also a strategic imperative for our nation’s progress and development,” he stated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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