By Ruth Oketunde
Nigerians in the UK have raised about N23 million in their bid to start tackling the out-of-school problem in Nigeria which has forced 20.2 million kids out of school.
The amount was raised at the Fourth Annual Black-Tie Charity Ball, staged by the international charity, IA-Foundation in London on Wednesday.
In an e-mail to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the event, the Chief Executive Officer of IA-Foundation, Mrs Ibironke Adeagbo, said the event was attended in full force by Nigerians from all walks of life in the UK.
She said that Nigerians attended the event in their numbers, to show their solidarity with the efforts of IA-Foundation to tackle the menace of young people staying out of school in the West African nation.
Nigeria, which is Africa’s top petroleum exporter has a huge population of its younger population currently out of school, according to UN agency, UNESCO.
However, the British-registered IA-Foundation has risen to the challenge since 2019 in a bid to tackle the problem and get the international community and the Nigerian government to rise to the challenge.
In a speech she delivered at the charity ball, Adeagbo reiterated the need for people of goodwill to help Nigeria to salvage the future of its children.
She said there was need for Nigerians everywhere in the world to make collaborative social investments in the education sector to put every Nigerian kid in classroom.
Adeagbo noted that no effort should be spared in ensuring that the 20.2 million out-of-school children in Nigeria were given opportunities to have access to quality education.
She urged Nigerians in the diaspora to be part of the army of impact makers, contributing to secure the future of not just children but Nigeria at large.
Speaking on “Securing the Future: the Imperative of Quality Education for All’’, Prince Afolabi Andu, the founder of the Nigerian Global Business Forum, said that providing education for a child in a family could be the game-changer for generations in that family.
He described Nigerians as people with great potential to thrive and excel if given the opportunity.
Andu appealed to wealthy individuals and corporate bodies to create opportunities for thousands of children on Nigerian streets by supporting education initiatives for the poor.
In a goodwill message, Alhaji Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, a former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria lauded IA-Foundation for bringing the attention of the world to the state of education in Nigeria.
He said that it was not enough to send a child to school but it is more important to examine the quality of education that the child is receiving.
“It is important to have teachers, facilities and the curriculum, to give quality education to every learner.
“In Nigeria, we have horizontal inequalities where certain regions are more disadvantaged than others with Northern Nigeria having the highest rate of out-of-school children,’’ Sanusi said.
Earlier in a message, the Nigerian High Commissioner to the UK, Amb. Sarafa Ishola, stressed the need to give quality education to the younger segment of the Nigerian population.
“A huge number of our children are not getting education and those being educated are harvested by other countries,’’ he stated.
The Chairman of the board of IA-Foundation, Mr Jide Olagundoye, commended the foundation for the impact it was making over the years in tackling the out-of-school crisis in Nigeria.
He assured that the foundation would continue to make the difference for less-privileged Nigerian kids to give them assured future.
NAN learnt that more than 250 Nigerians residing in the UK attended the event, which also featured side-attractions, including raffle draw and American auction. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Sadiya Hamza