By Asmau Ahmad
The Minister of Education, Professor Tahir Mamman, said that President Bola Tinubu had approved additional funding for the training and empowerment of adolescent girls in the country.
Prof. Mamman disclosed this while addressing State House Correspondents on the outcome of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The minister said: “Two things I want to mention and comment on, which are very important parts of the deliberations and resolutions in the council today.
“One, is additional funding for the training and empowerment of adolescent girls in Nigeria. One of the major policies of government is to target the education, training and empowerment of young girls into society.
“Initially from seven participating states, we will now have about 11 additional states participating in this project, which will lead to the empowerment of girls between 10 and 20, right across the participating states.”
Mamman explained that as a major escalation of the programme, it was meant to empower girls, teachers and the provision for additional schools in the country.
He also said that President Tinubu’s administration was working assiduously to reduce the incidents of out-of-school children in the country.
“It is actually quite in line with part of the agenda of this government to ensure that the number of girls and people who are out-of-school is reduced, if not eliminated altogether.
“Today, the council took a very major decision to review policy so that the Public Procurement Act is brought into practice as it were, as to the handling of projects and government activities in Nigeria.
He said this would enable the Public Procurement Council to exercise its powers under the Act, and then the council would now concentrate on issues of national importance and issues of policy.
On his part, Mr Wale Edun, the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, confirmed that FEC approved funding for training and empowerment of adolescent girls.
The minister disclosed that he presented five memos at the FEC meeting, which were gracefully approved.
He said that the memos had to do with concessional and zero-interest financing by the World Bank and the International Development Association, which was the very concessional financing arm.
The minister said that the projects approved for funding were in the power and the renewable energy sectors.
Edu further said there was funding provision for states for resource mobilization programme to help them with their internally-generated revenue efforts.
“There was a project for adolescent girls’ initiative for learning and empowerment, essentially, as it says, it is a programme to support young girls from the age of 11, secondary school age.
It is to ensure that at the end of their schooling, they have one skill or the other that is marketable, as well as the academic laurels.
The minister also disclosed that the FEC approved funds for the financing of women projects as additional ventures.
“The first one was very successful. It was all about empowering women, upscaling their skills level, and of course, giving them some financial inclusion, including in the banking system.
“So those were five loans totalling $3.45 billion. And as you know, the tenure is all around 40 years, moratorium period of around 10 years and interest very low, or in the cases of the loans, zero interest, although some fees would be incurred,” Edu said.