Mr Maulid Warfa, the Chief of United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Kano field office, says more than 10.5 million children are out of school in Nigeria.
Warfa disclosed this on Friday in Kano during an event tagged ‘Youth Talk’ to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the conversation on the rights of the child.
“Young people today live in a world of unlimited potentials. However, despite gains in the situation facing Nigerian children and young people in recent years, much still remains to be done.
“Too many Nigerian children and young people are being left behind, especially when it comes to education. Nigeria has the highest number of out of school children,” he said.
Warfa explained that Friday’s conversation, tagged ‘Naija Youth Talk’, with the theme ‘The Nigeria We Want, Voices from Kano’, would allow young people to create the Nigeria of their choice as well as build momentum and support for further action.
“Nigeria’s youth bulge is the largest in the world. Out of a population of over 200 million, more than 64 million persons are in the 15 to 35 years age bracket, an age bracket normally categorised as young persons.
“It is easy to see this as a challenge to national development and it can be, if not properly managed. But the youth population of any country is a key ingredient of national development, a bridge and transition to a prosperous future,” he said.
Warfa commended the Kano State government for understanding the challenges and working with key partners, including UNICEF to turn round the unfortunate situation of youth education for the better.
In his goodwill message, Dr Mansur Muhammad-Tukur , Executive Director, Development Professionals Network International (DevProNet), described education, employment and empowerment as major key elements that could contribute to Nigeria’s development.
“Kano State has the highest number of street beggars or ‘Almajiris’, scavengers and hawkers, especially the girl-child in the world and this is worrisome,” Muhammad-Tukur said.
He also called on wealthy individuals to, at least, sponsor one or two of their housemaids to school.