Mr Samuel Gimba, former Nigerian Ambassador to Poland, has urged federal and state governments to make education free and compulsory for girls in the country.
He made the call on Wednesday at an event in Akwanga, Nasarawa State organised by Gyunka New Hope Foundation, a Non Governmental Oragnisation (NGO) to mark the 2017 International Day for the Gir-Child.
Gimba, who commended Federal Government for supporting the UN resolution to mark the day, however, added that more needed to be done to achieve the vision 2030 vision for the girl-child.
He, therefore, stressed the need for the girl-child to have access to quality education and quality healthcare and protection as encapsulated in the UN resolution on the girl-child rights.
He said “there is still a disproportionate value for access to education between girls and boys in Nigeria.
“In order to correct this imbalance, government at both federal and state level should provide free and compulsory world class education to all girls up to secondary school.
“Government should also make scholarships available for their tertiary education.”
Earlier, Mrs Louis Gyunka, the Chief Executive Officer of the NGO that organised the event, hin collaboration with another NGO — Empowered to Empower (E2E) initiative, said it was aimed at empowering the girl-child with information and boost their confidence to develop their potential.
She said “the essence of this event is to give the girl-child hope and build her confidence to become whatever she wants to be in life.”
She added that participants at the event were drawn from csecondary schools in the area, among other stakeholders.
Gyunka said the NGO recently trained over 50 girls between ages 15 – 21 years in different vocational skills in Akwanga to be self reliant and would continue to do more to harness the potential of the girl-child.
Dr Amina Aminu, guest speaker at the occasion, who spoke on “Power of Adolescent Girl”, identified knowledge as the greatest source of power they could tap into to fulfil their dreams.
Aminu urged girls to always believe in themselves, remain focused, identify role models to emulate, be creative “and be prepared to face the rough road to success.”
She says the word ‘impossibile’ does not exist for them if they are determined to fulfil their dreams.
She urged government to focus on addressing the challenges facing the girl-child in the country, saying “Nigeria cannot progress unless it taps the full potential of the girl-child.”
The theme for this year’s celebration is “The power of the Adolescent Girl: Vision for 2030.”