Saraki also said the National Assembly was ready to partner with stakeholders like the United Nations Children’s Fund to reduce the number drastically.
He added that the legislature was committed to doing all it could to address the issue of out-of-school children through funding and material resources. He lamented that Nigeria had the highest number of out-of-school children in the world.
A statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Sanni Onogu, quoted him as saying this while addressing a UNICEF delegation led by its Country Representative, Mohammed Malick Fall, on a visit to him in Abuja.
Saraki said, “This represents approximately 20 per cent of the world’s population of children that are not in school. Having 10 million children out of school is literally a ticking time bomb for our nation.
“An uneducated population will be locked in a cycle of poverty for their entire lives. Additionally, these children could constitute the next generation of suicide bombers and militant terrorists. In this regard, education is a national security priority.”
He said that the 8th National Assembly is determined to make laws and appropriate resources needed to drastically reduce the menace.
Fall, in his remarks, encouraged the Senate President to endorse UNICEF Nigeria’s 2017 school enrollment programme. He explained that the campaign sought to partner with the education stakeholders at the state level to ensure the impact reaches grassroots.
He added that the campaign also sought to underscore the country’s commitment to free and compulsory education and to encourage states to prioritise education.
Fall lamented that with the statistics of about 10.5 million children out of school in Nigeria, “such number pose a lot of danger to the growth and development of the country.”