London mayor to address Nigeria’s out-of-school children crisis with diaspora community

The London Borough of Southwark Mayor, Michael Situ, has confirmed his desire to host members of Nigeria’s diaspora community in the UK in a bid to tackle Nigeria’s out-of-school children’s crisis.

Mr Situ offered to host Nigerians in the Diaspora to show his support and solidarity to the activities of the British charity which has been active in Nigeria, known as Ibironke Adeagbo (IA)-Foundation.

Speaking in a telephone interview with a journalist in Abuja on Sunday, Ms Adeagbo, the chief executive officer of the charity, said that Mr Situ would be hosting captains of industry, politicians, philanthropists, delegates and friends of IA-Foundation, to open a new page on the out-of-school issue.

She described the event as the latest initiative of the charity to bring the crisis in Nigeria’s education to global attention.

Ms Adeagbo said that the event, which would be held early next year, would be staged at the Southwark Civic Townhall at the London Bridge, overlooking the River Thames.

According to her, the purpose of the event is to showcase the work, impact and key findings of the foundation over the years and to attract the attention of the Nigerian diaspora community in the UK to make a difference back home.

Ms Adeagbo said that the interaction would be geared toward mobilising the international community toward building a shared vision and harnessing resources to combat the menace of out-of-school children in Nigeria.

She affirmed that members of the UK Parliament, UK councillors, politicians, philanthropists, delegates from corporate organisations and other notable individuals would also attend the event.

“The endeavour is to ensure that the international community plays a critical role in the development of a solid and functional educational system in Nigeria,’’ she said.

IA-Foundation, which was established in 2019 by Ms Adeagbo, a Nigerian born in England, has demonstrated an uncommon passion for tackling the out-of-school crisis in Nigeria.

In 2022, the UN agency UNESCO reported that Africa’s most populous nation has an army of out-of-school children, estimated at about 20.2 million – the highest in the continent.

However, Ms Adeagbo, who is a chartered accountant, has been pushing relentlessly, using the foundation to draw international attention to the out-of-school crisis in Nigeria.

Last month, the foundation hosted a summit in Lagos that attracted prominent Nigerians and activists to discuss the out-of-school problem.

Also, the foundation is billed to host a fund-raising event in Lagos next March to enable the body to take more children out of the streets and return them to classrooms.

President Bola Tinubu has, however, assured Nigerians that his administration would pull Nigeria out of the woods and re-position the country on a glorious path in the education sector.


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