The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has stated that there are an estimated 40 to 45million illiterate persons in Nigeria.
UNESCO Country Representative Dr Joseph Ngu made this revelation at the Roundtable on “Cultivating Peace” in Celebration of 2012 International Literacy Day in Abuja yesterday, said Nigeria is one of the countries among the E9 countries where education is a problem and the only one in sub-Sahara Africa, because it has above a 100 million people.
He said that “the UN office in Nigeria had a three-year project “Revitalizing Adult and Youth literacy” which they hope will make a dent in the number of illiterate people in Nigeria, even if it is only 4 to 6 million people.”
On his part, UN Resident Coordinator, Mr Daouda Taoure, remarked that a recent survey conducted by Nigeria’s National Bureau of Statistics estimates that that the adult literacy rate was 56.9 percent with huge variations between states, adding that while Lagos had 88 %, Yobe had only 14 %.
He maintained that while urban areas had 75 % and rural 48 %, males had 65 percent, while females had 49 %.
He added that “Statistics from the Ministry of Education, showed that 500,000 of the 40 million adult illiterates were enrolled in adult classes, while 3.5 million nomadic school aged children had only 450,000 accessing any form of schooling, while enrolment of children into schools in some states was as low as 12.0%”
Meanwhile the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon went further to say an estimated 775 million young people and adults around the world still cannot read or write, while 122 million children of primary and lower secondary age remained out of school.