The Vice President of Nigeria, Arc. Mohammed Namadi Sambo, has said that the Federal Government has expanded the scope and frontiers of its war against illiteracy to include the almajiris, area-boys and ex-militants in the Niger Delta to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Sambo added that the education of women and girls is also a priority for development to take place. He further said that may not be achieved without freeing our people from the claws of illiteracy and poverty.
Sambo disclosed this in Abuja at the 8th Ministerial Review Meeting of the group of high illiterate population countries, comprising, Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria and Pakistan, who came together to tackle illiteracy amongst their people. The meeting of the group popularly known as E-9,has a theme “Literacy for Development.”
Arc. Sambo, who represented President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, at the occasion, said empowering people through acquisition of literacy and numeracy is the minimum level of foundation, which counties can employ in removing their people from the clutches of poverty and making them forces to be reckoned with in the world’s socio-economic and political development.
He commended the commitment of the E-9 countries in tacking illiteracy amongst their people. He said that the meeting reaffirms the countries desires to deliver qualitative education to their people. He therefore urged the countries to do more in the area of cooperation and resource management, to attain probity, transparency and accountability.
Arc. Sambo congratulated Mrs. Irina Bokova on her recent appointment as the Director-General of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). He used the opportunity to commend the UN body for its untiring assistance to its Member States, especially the E-9 countries to deliver qualitative and sustainable education to the people, and to confront the challenges impeding the achievement of the Education for All (EFA). He praised the technical and financial support UNESCO gives these countries through the Literacy Initiative for Empowerment (LIFE), Teacher Training Initiative for Sub-Saharan Africa, (TTISSA), and the Initiative on HIV/AIDS Preventive Education.
Vice President Namadi Sambo, in company of the Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayat A. Rufai and other top government officials, earlier met with the UNESCO Director-General, Mrs. Irina Bokova, UNESCO Special Envoy, Princess Laurentien of Netherlands, Indonesian Vice Minister of Education, Fasli Jalal, President of the General Conference of UNESCO, Dr. Davidson L. Hepburn, and Assistant Director-General of UNESCO, Mr. Qian Tang. Nigeria was granted the hosting rights of the meeting at the 2008, 7th E-9 Ministerial Review Meeting at Bali, Indonesia. Nigeria takes over the Chairmanship of the E-9 from Indonesia. The Chairmanship is for two years.