Dr Precious Gbeneol, the Senior Assistant to the President on Millennium Development Goals, on Tuesday said the Federal Government had released N113.75bn for girl child education programmes.
Gbeneol announced this in Abuja at the launching of three million free exercise books, distributed to pupils across the 36 states of the federation and the FCT.
“The MDG has initiated programmes to help Nigeria achieve Universal Basic Education with focus on the issues of quality, capacity, access and relevance.
“The MDGs made available over N113.75bn of debt relief to the Federal Ministry of Education from 2006 to date, to implement various programmes.
“The programmes include the girl child education, National Programme on Almajiri, support to the National Teachers Institute and support to UBEC for the Federal Teachers Scheme.’’
She noted that N26.1bn was invested in 261 local government areas, with the execution of more than 15,000 high impact projects.
She also said that the projects were in the area of education, income generation, agriculture, health, water and sanitation sectors.
According to her, there has been a successful execution of 12,342 water and sanitation projects nationwide, with the construction, renovation and equipping of 5,206 health facilities.
Gbeneol said about 68,430 health workers were trained to provide the much-needed skilled health services at the grassroots.
She said that funding was also provided to 1,704 beneficiaries to aid start-up of agriculture enterprises.
Gbeneol noted that the launching of the books was another step to attain the one of the mandatory targets of the MDGs on universal primary education.
“I am convinced that the free exercise books, when distributed, will further ease the burden of the benefiting poor families.
“It will also stimulate the interest of the pupils themselves to embrace education and quit street life.
She said that the MDGs office was making efforts to ensure that children, both boys and girls, would be able to complete a full course of primary education by 2015.
The Executive Secretary of UBEC, Alhaji Dikko Suleiman, said the launch was evidence of the commitment of the Federal Government to the realisation of the MDGs.
Suleiman, who was represented by Mr Pius Osagie, UBEC Deputy Director, Academic, said the efforts would complement those of UBEC and improve standard of education in the country.
Alhaji Wada Waziri, Chairman of State Universal Basic Education, who spoke on behalf of other chairmen of SUBEB, said that the books would help UBEC to achieve its mandates.
Waziri said that the MDGs commitment would improve the lives of the poor and vulnerable while breaking the generational cycle of poverty.
Miss Olubukola Adewale, a 13 year-old student of Garki Government Junior Secondary School, FCT, one of the beneficiaries, expressed appreciation to God for making her one of the beneficiaries.
She promised to work hard to realise her dream of becoming a medical doctor.