By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA—PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, said the Federal Government would sustain ongoing efforts to end child marriage and improve girl-child education in the country.
Buhari who spoke while commissioning the headquarters building of the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs in Abuja, said it was the collective duty of all to ensure that mothers of today and tomorrow were educated, encouraged and empowered.
According to him: “Our quest is to ensure that concerns of women, children, and other vulnerable citizens are given prominence and ultimately addressed. A key priority of our government is the development and implementation of social inclusion and economic sustenance policies.
“Our determination is to ensure that economic growth and prosperity are felt by as wide a circle as possible. In particular, we are laying great emphasis on education of the girl-child. The high level of young girls who are out of school, or unable to complete school due to socio-economic pressures, is disturbing and must be addressed.
“The launch of the National Strategy to End Child Marriage, 2016 – 2021 has been the first critical step towards increasing children’s access to quality all-round education and enhancing the retention of the girl-child in our schools. I expect this Ministry to maintain its lead coordinating role on these, and other women’s related matters working with State Governments as well as our regional and international partners.”
In her remarks, the Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen, thanked the President for recognising the role of women in nation-building, and supporting the completion of the headquarters of the women ministry.
The minister appealed to the President to appoint more women to leadership positions in his government, assuring that her ministry would double efforts to improve girl-child education in the country while advancing the welfare of vulnerable persons and women.
Also speaking, the Minister of State for Power, Mr. Jeddy Agba said that the Muhammadu Buhari – led government would not abandon any projects.
The Minister commended the former Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola on his efforts in putting in place the magnificent edifice.
The Country Director of UNICEF, Peter Hawkins, said that the promotion of women and girls participation in all aspects of life was at the heart of the fund.
Hawkins, who regretted that the number of women in decision making in the country does not represent the population of Nigeria, promised that the UNICEF would help in the realization of Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs as it concerns women and girl child.