Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has stated that he’s worried about the growing number of out-of-school children in the country.
Obasanjo spoke on Thursday at the opening of the GOTNI leadership centre in Abuja.
On Wednesday, Rahama Farah, head of the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) office in Kano, said more than 18.5 million children in Nigeria don’t have access to quality education.
Speaking on the issue of out-of-school children, Obasanjo stated that Nigeria won’t make significant economic progress until children get access to education.
“When people come to me and say you are doing well, I say ‘no, that is not what I want because I am in a place to do well’,” he said.
“Don’t come and tell me that I am doing well. I want you to tell me what I need to do and to do better. That is what I want to hear and not for you to come and tell me I am doing well.
“The truth is that there is nobody that is born without some amount of innate leadership capacity and it is development that is needed. By the time we come to the GOTNI leadership centre, a bit of it is learnt.
“We should not forget that a lot starts from home, a lot in the school, a lot in the church and the mosque, a lot within the community itself. If we fail in all those areas, you won’t even get them to come here.
“This is one aspect of our life. The other aspect is what we do. I am worried because no matter what we do here, as long as we have the type of situation we have now of 15 million children that should be in school that are not in school, if all of us in school are graduates of GOTNI leadership centre, there will still be that gap of those who should be in school that are not educated.”