Also, according to UNICEF’s Deputy Representative in Nigeria, Pernille Ironside, Bauchi State has the highest number with 1.1 million children that are out of school followed by Katsina State with 781,500. Corroborating the grim statistics, the Executive Secretary of Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Hamid Bobboyi, added that the girl-child constituted over 60% of children out of school. In essence, Bobboyi’s statement means that of the 13.2 million out-of-school children in Nigeria, 7.93 million are girls while 5.28 million are boys. The 13.2 million children who are not in school represent 6.67% of Nigeria’s estimated 198 million people.
An education expert, Dr. Dayo Ogundimu, expressing concerns over the rising number of children out of school in the country, said governments at all levels must act now to address the situation. Ogundimu, who is also an Education and Development Consultant for the United Nations Children’s Fund, noted that with the rising figure of children out of school, especially in the north, it signifies a looming calamity for the country.
As part of its efforts to make children love reading and education across the country, Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, recently disclosed that the Federal Government spends more than $1.8 million every day on the National School Feeding Program and that $183 million had so far been invested in the program.