By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has expressed his administration’s commitment to quality education and promotion of equal opportunities for the girl child.
Sanwo-Olu, speaking after a close-door meeting with the United Kingdom (UK) Minister for Africa, Mr. James Duddridge; Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Nigeria and Special Envoy for Girls Education, Helen Grant and British Deputy High Commissioner, Mr. Ben Llewellyn-Jones, at Lagos House, Ikeja on Thursday evening, said giving quality education to girls is critical to having a progressive society with shared prosperity.
The governor said the meeting was “in furtherance of previous engagements on the UK’s partnership with Lagos in areas of mutual interests, especially on the future cities project, optimising the state’s waterways and promoting education for the girl child.”
He said: “Lagos is leading in efforts to ensure our girls have access to quality education and promoting equal opportunities for the girl child because we believe this is critical to us in having a progressive society with shared prosperity.
“We welcome the UK’s commitment as a key partner recognising our role as one of the largest economies in Africa and a force for commerce and trade in the region.”
Speaking to journalists after the meeting, Duddridge, who was on a four day trip to Nigeria and two day trip to Lagos State, said Lagos has a strong relationship with the United Kingdom.
He said: “Lagos is a wonderful place. It is an inspiration and economic place for many countries in the continent; a state which has strong relationship with the United Kingdom culturally, in business and a large diaspora.
“I have really enjoyed my time in Nigeria and Lagos in particular, speaking to the Governor (Sanwo-Olu), who we have spoken a number of times before but not in person because of COVID-19. It is good to be back in
Lagos and I am already planning my next trip to Lagos.”
Also speaking to journalists, Grant expressed the United Kingdom Prime Minister’s commitment to 12 years quality education for girls.
She said: “We are here because we really value our relationship with Nigeria. Nigeria’s success is very important to the United Kingdom and the continent of Africa. I think this is really an exciting time for Nigeria and the United Kingdom relations. The Prime Minister very much wants the UK to be Africa’s partner of choice and Nigeria’s partner of choice.
“Girls education is something that is very close to the Prime Minister’s heart. He has said that he wants every girl to get 12 years of quality education and we know that is good for girls. But it is also good in leveling up society, boasting and developing economy of nations. That is very important to the UK and we know those things are also very important to Nigeria.”