Governor Nasir el-Rufai of Kaduna State has said when the executive bill that gives access to nine years of free and compulsory education in Kaduna, which has been sent to the state house of Assembly, becomes fully operational in September, parents who refuse to send their children to school will be jailed.
The governor, who said the state government had invested massively in educating its children, emphasised that: “by doing this, we are ensuring that all children, the teenage girl inclusive, will have the right to a proper academic foundation to develop their potential fully, thereby empowering her to live a fulfilled life.”
The governor, represented by his deputy, Yusuf Bala Bantex, at the event commemorating the 2016 World Population Day, under the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) seventh programme assistance, held in Kaduna, noted that the day had been set aside by UNFPA to draw the attention of governments and developmental agencies on population issues affecting developing societies .
el-Rufai disclosed that just a couple of months ago, the state received $21 million as grant from the World Bank.
He added that the state government was working tirelessly to increase access to healthcare services to all children through comprehensive healthcare programmes.
“Through this intervention, we are equipping primary healthcare facilities in all the 255 wards in the state and stocking them with drugs and medical equipment to increase access to quality healthcare. We are also rehabilitating and equipping 23 secondary healthcare facilities in 23 local government areas for a better referral system and improved healthcare services for all residents of Kaduna State.”
El-Rufai said: “ The theme of this year’s World Population Day is ‘Investing in Teenage Girls,’ an issue that this government is especially passionate about, because we firmly believe that every teenage girl should be given the opportunity to grow into a productive adult contributing to the growth and development of her community.
“We cannot deny that young and teenage girls in Nigeria, especially in the North, are facing issues detrimental to their well-being.
“Issues ranging from forced marriages, early motherhood, sexual abuse, gender discrimination and lack of access to basic social services like reproductive healthcare services, education and prompt justice in cases where these girls have been sexually abused.”