UK charity IA-Foundation is to establish skills acquisition centres in the six geo-political zones in Nigeria to empower millions of out-of-school children in the country.
The initiative is the latest effort by the foundation to add value to the lives of some 20.2 million Nigerian kids currently out of school in Africa’s most populous nation.
The founder and chief executive officer of IA-Foundation, Ibironke Adeagbo, disclosed this in a telephone interview in Abuja on Sunday.
She said the plan to build the entrepreneurial centres was part of the outcome of her working visit to the newly-elected Mayor of the London Borough of Southwark, Michael Situ.
Ms Adeagbo said she discussed the global issue of out-of-school children, especially in Nigeria, with the mayor, expressing her optimism that the time had come for the international community to step into the out-of-school crisis worldwide.
India, Nigeria and Pakistan are the countries with the highest number of out-of-school children, according to records by the UN agency UNESCO.
Ms Adeagbo said her visit to Mr Situ was to persuade the mayor to stimulate the consciousness of the British political and business establishments to get involved in tackling the out-of-school menace frontally.
She said the foundation would also host a summit in Lagos in October to discuss Nigeria’s out-of-school issues with an international audience.
Ms Adeagbo said all eyes were on President Bola Tinubu to make a difference in Nigeria’s education sector to ensure a better future.
A report released late last year by a research company, SBM Intelligence, listed Kebbi, Zamfara and Bauchi States as having the highest numbers of out-of-school children in Nigeria’s 36 states.
Analysts also posit that the problem is exacerbated by an endemic insurgency by the deadly Boko Haram group, which has forced millions of children out of classrooms.