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Survey says 52 million illiterate in Nigeria

PostPosted: Sat Sep 30, 2006 1:42 pm
by Richard Akindele
Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa
Published: Saturday September 30, 2006

Abuja- About 52 million Nigerians, representing 43 per cent of the population are still illiterate, the state-run National Commission for Mass Literacy, Adult and Non-Formal Education, declared in Abuja Saturday. A survey the commission conducted this year showed that of the estimated 130 million Nigerians, "51.6 million, representing 43 per cent, are still illiterate."

Chief Executive of the Commission, Ahmed Oyinlola, noted that "in spite of its position as a key African and inter-continental player, Nigeria's health, employment, shelter, capacity utilization and other indices of development did not correspond with her importance in Africa and indeed in the world."

Oyinlola blamed this on the high level of illiteracy among the populace.

To reverse the trend, the Nigerian government instituted a universal basic education programme which made it compulsory for children to go to school for at least nine years from the age of six years.

The programme kicked off this month across the country.

The Nigerian government also reinvigorated its adult literacy programme to provide opportunities for adults who missed the chance of going to school as children or as adolescents.

In Abuja, the administration plans to establish a Literacy-by- Radio Project, which would take off in 2007.

The minister in charge of the Abuja federal territory, Nasir El- Rufai, said on Saturday that the administration was building reading rooms and or libraries in some villages around the territory to help literate residents sustain their literacy.

DPA - Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa