The British Deputy High Commissioner in Lagos, Laure Beaufils, has disclosed that about 36 per cent of Nigerian girls from ages 15 to 19 have at least one baby.
She made the disclosure Teusday, March 13, 2018 while speaking at the formal launch of “Educating Nigerian Girls In New Enterprises (ENGINE II).”
Beaufils expressed British government’s commitment to tackling the numerous challenges confronting the girl child in Nigeria, particularly in Lagos State, due to the influx of visitors to the place.
ENGINE II is a UK aid initiative to be jointly implemented by the Lagos State Ministry of Education, Office of the Special Adviser on Education, Agency for Mass Education. This would be done in collaboration with Mercy Corps Nigeria and Action Health Incorporated to help marginalised girls from 16 to 19.
The aim is to support them to improve their learning outcomes and economic status. Represented by the Regional Coordinator of DFID in the South West, David Ukagwu, she said girls are the most vulnerable in the society. She stressed that if their welfare were neglected, the society would be deeply and negatively affected.
The envoy said the British government is committed to taking girls out of the streets and ensuring that they acquire literacy, numeracy and entrepreneurial skills. According to her, findings show that the education of the affected girls would suffer. She said close to 12 per cent of underage girls are already married, a situation she described
Beaufils urged all affected stakeholders to create an enabling environment that would empower the girl child. Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor on Education, Mr. Obafela Bank-Olemoh, said the DFID- supported programme would scale up the ongoing activities in the state.He added that it would help in training up to 7,000 marginalised girls in Lagos, by empowering them with the much-needed literacy and numeracy skills.
“These knowledge will unlock the potentials of these girls who before now, had little or no education. It would also grant them access to new opportunities that could improve their lives and the society at large,” he said.