Leadership (Abuja)

Nigeria: FG Reiterates Determination to Address Illiteracy in the Country

The National Commission for Mass Literacy, Adult and Non-Formal Education on Wednesday reiterated the determination of the Federal Government to address the high level of illiteracy in the country.

Mr Jibrin Paiko, Executive Secretary of the commission, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the decision to address the problem had become necessary as the literacy level in the country was low.

To this end, Paiko said that the commission would launch the "2012 National Mass Literacy Campaign" in December.

He said that President Goodluck Jonathan was expected to launch the campaign, adding that it would create an avenue for Nigerians to have more access to education.

"In recent years in Nigeria, we have about 56 million Nigerians, who cannot read or write, this included adults, children and youths, who have not attended school or those who are out of school.

"There is need for us to redouble efforts to address the issue of illiteracy in the country, that is why we are here to fashion out ways of increasing literacy level in the country," he said.

According to him, the Federal Government will collaborate with UNESCO to address illiteracy.

Paiko said the government had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with UNESCO to develop and coordinate the implementation of a National Strategic Framework on revitalising adult and youth literacy in the country.

"We have been able to develop a road map and strategic frame work to see how in the next three years we can meet the target to reduce illiteracy to the barest.

"Nigerian government and UNESCO are fashioning out ways to move forward, that is why UNESCO is supporting us with more than 4.6 million dollars to mobilise mass literacy in the country.

"In Nigeria, we need over N1 billion and UNESCO has also promised to provide experts, technical support for free and that is where we are now," he said.

The executive secretary said that the outcome of the framework would be launched alongside the 2012 National Mass Literacy Campaign at both national and zonal levels.

Paiko said the commission had also constituted a national mass illiteracy trust fund.

"This would enable all stakeholders to benefit from the fund both from the federal, state and local levels."

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