Governor Nasiru El-Rufai of Kaduna State on Thursday said girls must be given equal opportunities as boys to go to school and contribute more meaningfully to societal growth.
The governor told newsmen in Kaduna after receiving 18-year-old Nkechinyero Chidi-Ogbolu, author of the book ‘Tales of an Uber Minor in College,’ that education was key to success.
He described the author as a great source of inspiration, and urged young people not to waste their time on the street but aspire for greatness at all times.
He said: “I want every girl in Kaduna state to see and emulate or even exceed her; that is why for me her visit is very important.
“It is an example of what we can achieve if we give our girls the same opportunity that we give our boys in Africa, particularly in the Northern part of Nigeria, where girls do not get same opportunity to get educated as boys.’’
El-Rufai noted that some of the kids have been left to hawk on the street instead of going to school, adding, “that is what we are trying to work on now in Kaduna and Northern Nigeria in general’’.
He said that as part of the effort, his administration had invested heavily in reviving the education sector for better performance.
The governor disclosed that a total of 78,000 units of classroom furniture had been distributed to public schools in the state since his assumption of office.
He said: “We find out that more than half of our children seat on the floor, and we have to accelerate the process of providing furniture in our primary and secondary schools.’’
He stressed that the government still needed to do more to fully equip the schools.
El-Rufai added: “We still have long way to go and we will continue within the limited resource we have, until we make public schools as good as private schools.
“We are trying to get all our primary schools to have library, so that we put books in those primary schools and also encourage the formation of writing and literary clubs in our primary and secondary schools.’’
The governor urged Non-Governmental Organisations to go into public schools and encourage creative writing, so as to expose the talents that abound locally.