The Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) has said the rate of out-of-school children in Northern Nigeria is worrisome and it is in advance discussion on coming up with ways to help address it.
The bank’s President, Dr. Muhammad Sulaiman Al-Jasser said this Tuesday night in Kano while responding to questions during a media briefing he held alongside the state’s deputy governor, Dr. Nasir Yusuf Gawuna at the Government House.
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Al-Jasser was in Kano for the formal commissioning of the veterinary reference laboratory, distribution of empowerment packages and inspection of the Watari Irrigation Scheme expansion, all funded by the bank through the $95million Kano State Agro-Pastoral Development Project (KSADP).
The Emir of Kano, Aminu Ado Bayero had while receiving the development bank’s president earlier in the day urged the bank for support of the education sector, especially girl-child school enrollment, Almajiri and out-of-school children, while also appreciating the bank’s contribution to poverty alleviation and other projects with the aid of enhancing the standards of living of its member states.
But when responding to a question by our correspondent on whether the bank was looking into the almajirici and out-of-school challenge in Kano and Northern Nigeria, the bank’s president revealed that they are “very interested” in the out-of-school children and that they are engaging with the government on what was called Smart Education.
“We are doing this also and trying to bring others also with us to help Nigeria in this out-of-school children challenge because it is in several countries and Nigeria is not an exemption but it is an important issue and we are very advanced at the discussion with regards to this programme for the children that are out of school. This is because education is very high in our agenda for our member-country,” he added.
Similarly, when answering a question of whether the bank has plans for the revitalising of the moribund industrial sector in Kano and other northern states, Al-Jasser said that “Islamic Development Bank starts from where the government ends. We go where the countries want to go. We are not government and we do not interfere in the priority of a nation. They may come and ask us for advice and we will provide this confidentially but we do not tell any country how to industrialise or develop.”
He said when a country comes with viable projects, the bank is willing to help. “We love to help those who help themselves,” he added.