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SPEECH DELIVERED BY IYOM JOSEPHINE ANENIH MINI, HONOURABLE MINISTER OF WOMEN AFFAIRS AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT AT A CONFERENCE ON EDUCATION ORGANIZED BY CENTRE FOR ECONOMIC AND LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT ON FRIDAY 12TH, NOVEMBER 2010 AT MERIT HOUSE MAITAMA, ABUJA.

PROTOCOL

It gives me joy to have been invited to this important conference and to give a short speech on the topic “Achieving Primary Education by 2015: A chance for every child”

I wish to first and foremost, commend the Centre for Economic and Leadership Development for organizing such a very unique programme which is focused on quality education for the child/Youth as a tool for National Development.

  • Achieving Universal Primary Education for every Child by 2015, is a global target for all member States of United Nations.  This is one of the Millennium Development goals set for attainment by 2015 in order to give children who are the future leaders of world a sound foundation for development and contribution to nations building.
  • Nigeria, being a United Nations member State has to ensure that this goal is attained by 2015 as stipulated and has been taking  measures to achieve the Federal Government through the Federal and States Ministries of Education has been pursuing the achievement of this target with all seriousness.  Funds are being released through the Office of the Special Assistant to Mr. President on Millennium Development Goals (MDG), to the Universal Basic Education  office under the Federal Ministry of Education to provide facilities, equipment and learning materials that will enable our children receive quality education at all levels.  Now schools are being built while the old ones are being renovated to meet the required standard for conducive learning by children.
  •  The Federal Ministry of Education has been doing all within its reach to ensure that our children receive the basic or primary education in all nooks and crannies of the Country.
  • The role of the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development in this regard is, that of advocacy, sensitization and mobilization.

For the purposes of emphasis, I wish to state that the federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development has the mandate to design and implement programmes and projects aimed at ensuring the survival, development and protection of Women, Children, people with disabilities and the Elderly.  To actualize its mandate, the Ministry works in collaboration with line Ministries, Development Partners and Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) in the country.  This is so because as we all know, social development issues are complex and require concerted efforts to deal with them.

In line with its mandate, the Ministry has been rigorously engaged in public awareness campaign and advocacy visits to relevant stakeholders to ensure the realization of the right of children to education which is the basis of their development.  Education is the only legacy that stays with a human being throughout his/her life span.  This aspect of human development has been incorporated into the Child Rights Act 2003.

To ensure that every child in Nigeria acquires Universal Basic Education by 2015 as stipulated in the Millennium Development Goal number 4, the Ministry has been advocating for the passage and implementation of the Child Rights Act by all the States.  The Act provides for free and compulsory education for every child up to the junior secondary school level.  Every child as well all know has the right to education and should be given such education by all means.

The efforts of the Governments at all levels to actualize the goal of Universals Basic Education, (UBE) are highly commendable.

The Ministry is also working with NGOs to provide education for children and encourages all well meaning Nigerians to join hands with the government to ensure that every child receives the basic education in life.

At this juncture, I wish to appreciate the efforts of the Centre for Economic and Leadership Development for taking up the challenge of providing scholarship for some orphans and Vulnerable Children and organizing leadership training of the youth of this country.  The Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development is ready to collaborate with the centre for Economic and Leadership Development and any other NGO that is out and focused on the implementation of programmes that will assist the Government provide education for Nigerian children.

I wish to state again that attaining the Millennium Development Goal on Universal Basic education by 2015 requires the concerted efforts of all Nigerians.

Once again, I thank you for inviting me to this very important Conference.

Thank you for listening and God Bless.

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