President Muhammadu Buhari has assured that the his administration will sustain ongoing efforts to end child marriage and improve girl-child education in the country.
Buhari stated this on Thursday while commissioning the headquarters building of the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs in Abuja.
He said it is the collective duty of all to ensure that mothers of today and tomorrow are educated, encouraged and empowered.
“Our quest is to ensure that concerns of women, children, and other vulnerable citizens are given prominence and ultimately addressed,” he was quoted as saying in a statement by his media adviser, Femi Adesina.
President Buhari added, “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 the 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.”
President Buhari noted that 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.
He explained that the strategy also aimed to enhance the retention of the girl-child in schools across the country.
The President urged the ministry to continue to champion and coordinate all matters relating to the plight of Nigerian women and the most vulnerable citizens.
He assured Nigerian women of his continued support and determination to see that the ministry delivers on its mandate.
President Buhari applauded positive contributions from the ministry and other relevant government agencies in reducing human trafficking incidents and maternal mortality.
He said, “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.”
In her remarks, the Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen, thanked the President for recognising the role of women in nation-building, and for supporting the completion of the headquarters of the women ministry.
She, however, urged President Buhari to appoint more women to leadership positions in his government.
Tallen pledged that her ministry would double efforts to improve girl-child education in the country while advancing the welfare of vulnerable persons and women.