By Angela Atabo
Stakeholders in formal and non-formal education sector in Abuja have called for more public private partnership in funding the sector to build the capacity of teachers and enhance service delivery.
Mr Noah Emmanuel, the National President, the Non-Governmental Association for Literacy Support Services (NOGALSS) at the inauguration of three new units of NOGALSS Multipurpose Cooperative Society said the call was imperative to strengthen the sector.
Emmanuel said that although there were support from the National Commission for Mass Literacy Adult and Non-Formal Education (NMEC), Federal Ministry of Education, UNESCO and other partners but much still needed to be done to reduce the rate of illiteracy in Nigeria.
He said that over 1000 Nigerians had benefitted from NOGALSS empowerment programme in soap making, tailoring catering among others but with available funding more people would be supported to be self-reliant.
“We are working on empowering more people, that is why we are partnering with National Cooperative Financing Agency of Nigeria (CFAN) that is known to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
“We want to see that everybody has a skill and should be able to be doing something that will fetch them money.
“So NOGALSS is not only interested in making people acquire skills but also interested in making them financially established,’’ he said.
Emmanuel said that NOGALSS had empowered people to start businesses and helped others to expand their businesses.
He said that the association was partnering with state agencies for mass education in the country, adding that recently the FCT Department for Mass Education handed over all its graduates from skill vocational institute to NOGALSS.
He said this was so that they could join the cooperative to be established.
He called on the Federal Government to support organisations such as NOGALSS with the capacity to engage out of school persons profitably.
Emmanuel assured NOGALSS members that their money was safe with the association, adding that the group would not compromise its integrity.
Mr Emmanuel Atama, the Executive Secretary of the National Cooperative Financing Agency of Nigeria (CFAN) said that NOGALSS was affiliated to CFAN, a member of the technical committee for financial inclusion at CBN.
Atama said that CFAN was working with other partners in that committee to ensure financial inclusion for all Nigerians.
He said that CFAN had a mission of mentoring and providing guarantees for members to access loans not just in CBN but from all other entities available to cooperative societies.
“At the moment, we are mentoring upcoming societies and we are happy that on a daily basis, NOGALSS cooperative is expanding and also building capacity of members.
“We are pleased to tell you that NOGALSS is doing the right thing, so we are doing all our best to make sure that it is ready to access loans.’’
Atama however advised those accessing loans to ensure they pay back so that other Nigerians could benefit.
Grace Kazalma-Mantey, Executive Director at Lyngra Private Montessori School said that empowerment through education was key to poverty reduction.
“I brought my staff to join the cooperative because all along I have been thinking of how best I can help them further, apart from the salaries since they are dedicated to what they do.
“So when I joined NOGALSS ,I decided to bring them in and that has helped to empower them greatly. I urge other school owners to do the same,’’ she said. (NAN)