HomeABUJAOkonjo-Iweala Sells Increased Investment In Female Education

Okonjo-Iweala Sells Increased Investment In Female Education

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WTO Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

Renowned economist and Director-General, World Trade Organisation (WTO), Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has recommended increased investment in the education sector to ensure quality of education for school age children, particularly girls.

Okonjo-Iweala was on Friday in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory (FCT), at a summit with the theme: Girl Child Now: Nurturing Our Women-Nigeria’s Own Wealth.

She described investment in the education of the girl-child as a “smart investment”, saying that it fosters inclusion of women in economics.

Former British Prime Minister and United Nations (UN) Envoy, Global Education, Mr. Gordon Brown said that the summit reinforced the importance of education for the girl-child.

Brown affirmed his support for a social contract between Nigeria and girls to enable them to thrive and not just to survive.

The Director-General, World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, said that investing in women and girls’ education would enhance societal prosperity and equality.

Ghebreyesus expressed optimism that education for girls and women would go a long way in reducing early marriage and other forms of Gender Based Violence.

The Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs. Pauline Tallen reiterated the commitment of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, to improving the welfare of women and girls through education.

Tallen, who described the girl-child as a representation of the continuation of the cycle of life, said that education for a girl-child was education for the society.

She, therefore, called for mass enrolment of women and girls in schools to create a sustainable economic future for them.

The Country Representative, United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA), Ms. Ulla Mueller, called for a continued conversation between parents and relevant stakeholders to promote girl and women education.

Mueller said that education was important for successful and prosperous society, especially for women and girls.

The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Adeleke Mamora, expressed the need to support girls and women to achieve their potentials to the fullest.

Mamora urged the dismantling of societal prejudices that tend to subjugate the girl-child, impeding her access to education.

“The societal monsters that subject women to cultural and mental subjugation must be confronted.

“Government’s social contract forbids discrimination in many ways,” he said.

The Minister said there was a strong chord between health, education and wealth, which, according to him, women and girls must be provided access to.

He explained that the mission of the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology was to move the Nigerian economy from resource-based to knowledge-based.

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planing, Dr. Zainab Ahmed expressed the commitment of the Federal Government to adequate funding for safety of schools in Nigeria.

Ahmed said that government had included in the national planning for agencies and ministries to be gender focused.

According to her, the government is working with the private sector to create fiscal incentives to promote girl-child education.

The Founder, Emergency Coordinated Centre (ECC), and WHO Special Envoy, Dr Ayoade Alakija, urged women and girls to always be bold and courageous.

Alakija said that such boldness would only be possible with foundational education as support.

The summit was organised by the ECC to address the plight of women and girls in the area of educational marginalisation.

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