By Ruth Oketunde
The Chairperson of the Education Committee of the Nigeria-British Business Forum, Mrs Ibironke Adeagbo, has told the Nigerian Government to leverage fast on the $4 billion education fund raised at the just-concluded Global Education Summit, held in London.
President Muhammadu Buhari attended the July 28 to July 29 summit, which also had world leaders, including the British Prime Minister, Mr Boris Johnson, and the President of Kenya, Mr Uhuru Kenyetta, in attendance.
The Global Education Summit was targeted to raise about $5 billion for the Global Partnership on Education, to help 175 million children around the world to have access to education.
Adeagbo, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of the international charity, IA-Foundation, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Wednesday.
She said that Nigeria should tap into the fund urgently, to boost early-phase education and more importantly, to use the fund to secure schools in ungoverned Nigerian communities currently under siege by bandits and kidnappers.
Commending the Federal Government for securing the release of 15 additional kids of the Bethel Baptist High School in Kaduna State, Adeagbo, who is also the founder of the London-based IA-Foundation, lauded government for securing the release of the kids.
On Aug. 22, the Chairman of the Kaduna State Branch of the Christian Association of Nigeria, Rev. John Hayab, announced the release of 15 more kids, bringing relief to anxious parents after 48 days of suspense, following the abduction of their children.
Sixty-five students of the school were snatched from their school on July 5 in another agonizing episode of abduction in northwestern Nigeria – a development that traumatized many people in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation.
Adeagbo said that IA-Foundation was looking forward to the release of more children still in captivity for them to rejoin their families and resume normal academic life to achieve their life dreams.
The child’s rights advocate suggested, however, that government should close all schools in ungoverned communities in Nigeria, especially in areas where bandits had been active.
She described the persistent abductions of school children in Nigeria as heart-breaking, pleading that government should seek assistance from any quarter to overcome current security challenges in the country.
The chartered account, who has served as non-executive director of various UK charities, lamented the onslaught of bandits on communities in parts of Nigeria, saying that the development had put the future of the younger generation of Nigerians in jeopardy.
Adeagbo established IA-Foundation in January, 2019 to tackle the problem of the estimated 13 million out-of-school children in Nigeria.
She has been engaging with the Federal Government to find a lasting solution to the out-of-school crisis in a bid to restore hope to millions of kids, lacking opportunities to go to school. (NAN)