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Six states benefit from $108.5m GEP3 projects -UNICEF

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The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) says United Kingdom (UK) through Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has injected considerable financial investment of about $108.5 million in the Girls’ Education Projects of six northern states in10 years.

The UNICEF Nigeria, Kano Field Office Chief, Rahama Rihood Mohammed Farah, disclosed this in Katsina during one – day official closure of the Girls’ Education Project Phase Three (GEP3) in Katsina State organized by the state ministry of education in collaboration with UNICEF on Thursday.

Giving a breakdown of the programme, Mr. Farah noted a Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) scheme worth N332,832,000 for beneficiaries in Kafur, Mani and Safana Loca Government Areas of the state was launched about three months ago.

The UNICEF Kano Office chief however said despite the tremendous achievements of GEP3, there is still a huge need to invest more in education and girls education in Katsina, the Northwest and Nigeria.

He also disclosed that no fewer than 20,802 out – of – school children in three council areas benefiting from the CCT in Katsina had been enrolled and were attending schools because of the joint effort.

“Even though today we are here to discuss the ‘closure’ of this project (GEP3), it is in fact  an occasion to renew UNICEF’s long partnership on education with the government of Katsina and other education stakeholders in the state.

“This renewed partnership benefits from 10 years’ wealth of experience of shared vision, achievements, lessons learnt and indeed challenges that hindered our collective efforts in providing education for all children.

“We are today much better equipped to tackle persistent challenges that faced education, including the emerging ones such as insecurity and COVID-19,” Farah said.

According to him, the GEP3 sought to ensure more girls were enrolled, completed basic education and acquired skills for life and livelihood in benefitting Katsina, Kano, Zamfara, Niger, Sokoto and Bauchi States with a huge burden of out – of – school girls.

Earlier, the Commissioner for Education in Katsina, Prof. Lawal Badamasi Charanchi, commended UNICEF/FCDO, while showcasing the parameters of 2021 Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) performance of the state in WAEC and NECO.

Charanchi said: “The results have proved to us that girl child education in Katsina State has significantly improved. So, kudos to UNICEF/ FCDO for this particular programme.”

On sustainability, the commissioner noted that the present administration had factored in the key intervention strategies of GEP3 into the state educational system and appropriations.

The occasion attracted the wife of the state governor, Hajiya Hadiza Aminu Masari; the representatives of the Emirs of Daura and Katsina including the Chairperson of Katsina High Level Women Advocates (HiLWA), Hon. Marya Abdullahi and Justice Safiya Badamasi Umar (SAN) among other dignitaries.

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