Hajiya Maryam Bagel (APC-Dass Constituency) Bauchi State House of Assembly, has called for special intervention programmes to boost girl-child education in the country.
Bagel, the only female member in the assembly, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday in Abuja.
The lawmaker fielded questions ahead of the national children’s day celebration scheduled for May 27.
She said introduction of more empowerment programmes for grassroots would alleviate poverty and improve general wellbeing.
“Empowering grassroots people does not necessarily mean one must be a politician. I was engaged by some organisations as a role model where I go to communities in my local government to encourage some parents to send their daughters to school.
“I once gave out intervention to students of higher institution who were writing their final exams in Diploma, NECO and Degree programmes.
“I targeted 300 students from my constituency and I gave them N20,000 each which supported them in their projects and most of the beneficiaries were girls,’’ Bagel said.
She underscored the importance of girl-child education to the growth of national development.
According to her, girl-child education especially in the Northern communities needs to be encouraged more, noting that education of good quality is one of the most powerful tools to decrease poverty and inequality in a society.
“As part of efforts to promote girl-child education, I helped about five primary schools to have secondary schools in my local government through the Ministry of Education and this was to help bring schools closer to girls.
“Most of the girls in my community, I found out that most of these girls could not go to other communities to school due to the distance and they have to be at home, that is why I did that,” she said.
Bagel urged women in leadership positions to serve as role models to the young ones and create forums where they can share their experiences for proper mentorship.
“Girl-child education has impact in the Nigerian society and any other society for that matter; it is a serious issue that should not be treated lightly.
“Its impact in the society is numerous. Girl-child education has a proven impact on the goals related to children and reproductive health,” the lawmaker said.
She said due to the intervention programmes felt by the people in Dass local government area, women had made their names and histories.
“But I can proudly say all my interventions: economic empowerment, education, water and sanitation and all the others that I have been doing has helped my communities,’’ Bagel said.
Edited by Muhammad Suleiman Tola