A UK charity, Ibironke Adeagbo Foundation has again taken to the streets to raise awareness on Nigeria’s out-of-school crisis, pledging to make 1,000 additional kids to benefit from the charity from next year.
The Chief Executive Officer of IA-Foundation, Mrs Ibironke Adeagbo, made the announcement in a telephone chat with pressmen in Abuja on Sunday shortly after the latest charity walk by the group in Lagos.
She said that IA-Foundation was targeting to bring additional 1,000 kids into its charity net in the next five years in the steady push by the group to tackle Nigeria’s worrisome out-of-school crisis.
Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation has an army of about 20.2 million kids currently out of school, due to various factors, including insecurity, to UNICEF.
Nigeria which is also a top crude oil exporter has also been plagued by worsening insurgency, banditry and a bloody campaign by the Boko Haram terror group for over a decade.
Boko Haram has for years mounted a bloody campaign in Nigeria’s north and other neighbouring countries to stop western education.
But the Nigerian government has tackled the group frontally over the years, in a conflict that has taken many lives and displaced thousands, according to UN records.
Adeagbo sqaid that IA-Foundation currently had over over 100 children on its bursary scheme in Lagos, Oyo, Delta, Ogun, Kwara, Abuja and Osun, where the group had been paying school fees, buying textbooks, uniforms and catering for other extra-curricular activities of the children.
“Next year, we want to take at least 200 children off the streets and if you know any out-of-school child, let them get in touch with IA-Foundation. We are ready to sponsor their education up to secondary level,” the education advocate said.
She said that the charity walk was aimed at raising awareness to express the organisation’s displeasure on the huge number of out-of-school children in Nigeria.
Adeagbo decried the 20.2 million out-of-school children in Nigeria as reported by UNICEF, describing the situation as embarrassing, grossly unacceptable and a serious economic and security threat to the West African nation.
“The insecurity in the nation and economic hardship is largely as a result of a lack of proper education.
“When people are not educated, they are more likely to end up in poverty because they may lack skills, competencies and certifications to earn them good jobs.
“So, they are economically inactive and when poverty increases, they resort to crimes and all sorts of illegal activities.”
Adeagbo charged the incoming administration in 2023 to prioritise education and increase budgetary allocation to the education sector.
“Investment in education is the greatest investment any serious government can make. No nation can rise above the quality of its education system.
“It is the most powerful tool that we can use to fight corruption, insecurity and economic challenges,” the child education advocate stated. (NAN)