Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari thursday in Abuja pledged the federal government’s commitment to sustain the current efforts meant to end child marriage and as well improve on girl-child education.
Buhari, who made the pledge while commissioning the headquarters’ building of the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs, said everyone had the responsibility to ensure that the girl-child is educated, encouraged and empowered.
The president, according to his media adviser, Mr. Femi Adesina, said the launch of the National Strategy to End Child Marriage between 2016 and 2021 had been the first critical step towards increasing children’s access to quality all-round education and simultaneously enhancing the retention of the girl-child in our schools.
He said: ‘‘Our quest is to ensure that concerns of women, children, and other vulnerable citizens are given prominence and ultimately addressed.
‘‘A key priority of our government is the development and implementation of social inclusion and economic sustenance policies. Our determination is to ensure that economic growth and prosperity are felt by as wide a circle as possible.
‘‘In particular, we are laying great emphasis on education of the girl–child. The high level of young girls who are out of school or unable to complete school due to socio-economic pressures is disturbing and must be addressed.
‘‘The launch of the National Strategy to End Child Marriage, 2016–2021 has been the first critical step towards increasing children’s access to quality all-round education and enhancing the retention of the girl-child in our schools.”
Adesina said Buhari also admonished the ministry to continue to champion and coordinate all matters relating to the plight of Nigerian women as well as the most vulnerable citizens, promising that Nigerian women would continue secure his support and determination to see that the ministry realise these goals.
Buhari also commended the ministry and other relevant government agencies over what he described as its positive contributions towards the reduction of cases of human trafficking and maternal mortality.
‘‘I expect this ministry to maintain its lead coordinating role on these, and other women’s related matters working with State governments as well as our regional and international partners,’’ Adesina quoted him as saying.
Adesina added that the Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen, thanked the president for recognising the role of women in nation-building, and also supporting the completion of the headquarters of the Women Ministry.
“The minister appealed to the president to appoint more women to leadership positions in his government, assuring that her ministry will double efforts to improve girl-child education in the country while advancing the welfare of vulnerable persons and women,” the statement said.