– Out of 170 million Nigerians, between 65 and 75 million are illiterates according to the federal government
– The remark was made by Nigeria’s minister of education, Adamu Adamu in Kebbi state
– The government has revealed plans to reduce the number of children that are out of school
On Thursday, September 21, the minister of education, Adamu Adamu, described the rate of illiteracy in Nigeria as alarming.
According to him, out of the about 170 million Nigerians, between 65 and 75 million people are illiterate in the country.
According to Premium Times, he made the remark through a representative when he paid a courtesy call on Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi state in Birnin Kebbi.
This was part of his visit in the state for a two-day International Literacy Day conference organised by the National Commission for Mass Education.
Mr Adamu said: “Education is the bedrock of any country’s development and any country that does not educate its populace is bound to fail.
“Unfortunately, in Nigeria we have a very large population of illiterates; the illiterates figure, considering our population, is unbecoming.”
The minister was represented Jonathan Mbaka, the director of basic and secondary education, federal ministry of education, who said that the federal government was targeting educating out-of-school children.
“The government is doing all it can to reduce the number of children that are out of school.
“This includes the adoption of inclusive education where every Nigerian will be given the opportunity to go to school, regardless of background, ethnicity and gender,’’ he said.
Aisha Bagudu, the governor’s wife received commendation for reducing the number of out-of-school children and illiterates in Kebbi State through her Mass Almajiri Literacy and Poverty Alleviation Initiative (MALPAI).
On his part, Governor Bagudu linked illiteracy to the high level of insecurity.
“We have an army of people whose inability to read can be exploited by divisive elements in the country,” he said.
He also said: “I am very proud that we are hosting eminent delegates from across the federation at the time like this, where there is tension, and fear in Nigeria.
“For you to ignore fears that a few people cannot intimidate us is commendable.
“Our destiny remains in our hands and not allowing inconsequential elements to determine our fate is also commendable.”