FG Inaugurates National Steering Committee to Advance Adolescent Girls Education

By Abigirl Romanus

The Federal Government has launched a steering committee that would midwife the mainstreaming Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment (AGILE) project aimed at reducing the high number of children currently out of school in Nigeria.

Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman, while inaugurating the national steering committee to monitor and ensure the success of the AGILE project on Tuesday in Abuja, urged the committee to ensure they deliver on the job.

AGILE Project is a World Bank-assisted project of the Federal Ministry of Education geared at improving secondary education opportunities for adolescent girls aged between 10 and 20.

Recall that the federal government recently committed an additional 700 million dollars to boost the World Bank’s 500 million dollars funding for the project in Nigeria, thus increasing the funding for the project to 1.2 million dollars.

Mamman who charged state governments not to allow the project to have any form of handicap or suffer any challenge, warned that the project would be strictly supervised as the benefits of a successful delivery would trickle down to every part of the country, especially the grassroots.

He said: “This programme is at the heart of the federal government because it is part and parcel of out-of-school children. A success here is a success for the federal government. This is a loan. If we use it wisely, it is for our good, but if we mess up, it’s our loss.”

AGILE Project National Steering Commitee during their inaugvuration in Abuja

The minister commended the initial seven states under the AGILE programme for making some level of impact, urging the additional 11 states recently enrolled on the programme to sustain the momentum to ensure Nigeria remains on track as far as the AGILE programme was concerned

“We have a fantastic, amazing programme, and it’s extremely important for us now because one of the major challenges is taking millions of girls and boys back to school. If we have registered the success in these seven states in 18 states, that is halfway through.”

“If we are able to find some resources to complement what is happening here, we can scale up what is being done here to cover up the entire country with more numbers going back to school.

“I want to plead with the states. Please don’t allow this project to suffer any handicap or challenge. We are going to keep an eye on we, we will be going about physically because I am an operational person; I like to see results,” he said.

World Bank Nigeria Country Director, Mr. Shubham Chaudhuri, while commending the Nigerian Government for committing an additional 700 million dollars to boost the project, noted that the project was aimed at helping Nigeria invest in the girl child

The National Coordinator, AGILE Project, Mrs Amina Buba Haruna, said the project has impacted the lives of over 2. 4 million beneficiaries across the seven implementing states, more than 1,341, 821 girls have been reached so far, while 476,626 girls received scholarships to help them be in school.

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