Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani Rights Activist, has commended the National Economic Council (NEC) for the decision to direct state governors to declare a state of emergency on Nigeria's education sector.

According to Yousafzai, the move would promote economic empowerment for women which would drive sustainable growth.

She also called on President Muhammadu Buhari to "work with states to deliver meaningful change" in the education sector.

A statement dated November 19, 2018 read: "During my visits to Nigeria in July 2014 and July 2017, I met girls eager to complete their education. I saw the fierce ambition in their eyes as they told me about their dreams — among them to become doctors, reporters and scientists.

“As such, the recent decision by the National Economic Council (NEC) to direct state governors to declare a state of emergency in education is overdue. The NEC has shown great leadership by publicly recognising that it is of vital economic importance to get all of Nigeria’s children in school and learning the skills they need to thrive in the future workforce. When girls go to school, they become economically empowered women who promote sustainable development and drive economic growth.

“It is now crucial that President Buhari works with states to deliver meaningful change through enacting states of emergencies, and also with the House of Representatives to ensure the amendment to the Universal Basic Education (UBE) Act urgently receives passage and presidential assent. This would not only guarantee every child in Nigeria the right to 12 years of education, but also improve states’ access to federal UBE Commission funds.

“In placing girls’ education at the top of the agenda this year, Nigeria’s leaders will send a clear signal that they are determined to secure Nigeria’s stability and prosperity by investing in its future — its children.”

In a letter addressed to President Buhari, she also called on the Federal Government to allocate six per cent of Nigeria’s GDP to education funding; provide greater transparency in education funding at both federal and state level; and implement the Child Rights Act in each state.

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