Paul Orude, Bauchi
Bauchi State Governor, Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar, has faulted recent reports that the state has the highest number of out-of-school children in the country.
Abubakar made his view known when he received a group of 18 Afro-Americans on a courtesy visit at the Government House, Bauchi, on Monday.
He said: “The recent World Bank report says Bauchi State tops the list of out-of-school children in the country, but, I challenge those figures.
“What the World Bank didn’t consider is that Bauchi State has accommodated higher internally displaced persons than any state of the federation, and the data the bank relies on to pass this verdict was generated long time ago.”
Speaking earlier, on Sunday, at a dinner he organised for his visitors at Yankari Games Reserves, Governor Abubakar said: “Bauchi’s population has increased with about a million people from close to 6.8 million in 2015, to close to 7.3 million currently.
“While the Bauchi State Government recognises the need to improve access to vital resources, such as education, healthcare and employment opportunities, facilities are overstretched as a result of the growth in population within the few years.”
Daily Sun reports that a recent survey jointly carried out by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Federal Government, said the number of children who are outside the school system, rose from 10.5 million a few years ago to 13.2 million, with Bauchi State having the highest number of out-of-school children at 1.1 million.