FG lauds British charity for combating Nigeria’s out-of-school crisis
By Ruth Oketunde
The Federal Government has lauded the British charity, IA-Foundation for the commitment shown by the charity in tackling the out-of-school crisis in Nigeria.
Vice-President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo gave the commendation in a message to IA-Foundation, to commemorate the fourth annual Black-Tie and Charity Ball of the organisation.
Osinbajo’s message is contained in a message e-mailed to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) by the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of IA-Foundation, Mrs Ibironke Adeagbo, in Abuja on Tuesday.
The event with theme, “Securing the Future”, is scheduled to hold on March 8 at Bishop Justus CE School in Bromley, Kent in England.
Osinbajo hailed IA-Foundation for offering strategic support to Nigeria’s education sector, saying that the charity had contributed immensely to Nigeria’s growth.
According to the vice-president, IA-Foundation has made remarkable impact in reducing the number of girls who are unable to access education, due to poverty, insecurity or poor orientation about the importance of acquiring education.
“Given the number of girls who remain out of school in our country and may never have the opportunity of formal education, girl-child education is an all-important assignment.
“I whole-heartedly commend the commitment and dedication that IA-Foundation has deployed so far in getting our girls educated,’’ Osinbajo stated.
Similarly, the Chair of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, commended the foundation for its consistency in the past four year in ensuring that children who were previously out of school were able to access quality education.
“For an organisation that has over 95 per cent of its leadership based in the UK to have executed projects across nine states in Nigeria, and also helping 100 children back to school is highly commendable.
“Government needs the support and partnership of the diaspora communities and I am happy that IA-Foundation is complementing the efforts of our government in the education sector to combat the problem of out-of-school children,’’ she said.
Dabiri-Erewa called on other Nigerians and Nigerian-owned businesses in the diaspora to emulate IA-Foundation and be part of the development and transformation of Nigeria.
IA-Foundation Black-Tie and Charity Ball is an annual event, organised to intimate well-meaning individuals and the corporate world about the education deficit in Nigeria and mobilise resources to provide quality education for out-of-school children in Nigeria.
Fund generated from the event is channeled towards support for pupils and families, especially the girl-child; persons with disabilities and orphans.
Some high-profile Nigerians, including the Nigerian High Commissioner to the UK, Amb. Sarafa Ishola, and a former Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Alhaji Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, are expected at the event.
Also expected at the event is the Chairman of the Nigeria-Business Forum, Prince Folabi Andu, and other eminent Nigerians residing in the UK.
Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country has about 20.2 million kids out-of-school, a development caused by lingering insecurity, poverty and other issues plaguing the country.
However, IA-Foundation, which is based in Kent, took up the challenge four years ago, providing scholarships to hapless kids, to enable them get quality education.
The foundation is active in nine states in Nigeria, including Lagos, Ogun, Osun, Oyo, Delta, Ekiti, Kwara, Nasarawa State and the Federal Capital Territory.
The charity has also spent handsomely to provide portable water in some poor communities in Lagos, Nigeria’s economic hub.