National Commission for Mass Literacy, Adult Education and Non-Formal Education (NMEC), said it has developed an operational plan for a “National Mass Literacy Programme’’ aimed at reaching to 10 million Nigerians. Executive Secretary of the commission, Professor Abba Haladu, said this in Abuja on the sidelines of the Ministry of Education press briefing held recently to mark the 2017 International Literacy Day.
He said the plan would speed up government’s efforts at addressing the issue of illiteracy in the country, saying: “In the National Mass Literacy Programme that we have developed, it is actually envisioning that in the next three years, over 10 million Nigerians will be targeted. “So we are actually soliciting the support of the federal government and of course we have to collaborate with the state government and local governments and other partners.
“So we will continue to mobilise and we hope that the government will actually finance it and we hope the government will give the sector the attention it deserves. “We hope that the private sector will also give its helping hand and contribution so that through this every Nigerian we have the opportunity to acquire basic literacy skills.’’ He stressed that the nonformal education sector should be given as much priority as the formal sector in order to achieve sustainable development in the country.
Haladu said that there must be the political will by state and local governments to provide the necessary material support for the eradication of illiteracy in their respective areas of jurisdiction. “The non-formal education sector is very important just like the formal education sector and it needs to be accorded greater prominence in terms of political will and in terms of funding from all tiers or levels of government.
“So once we have this realisation and the fact that all political office holders from top to bottom give the sector a priority, I assure you within a few years a lot of the challenges and problems we have in the sector will actually be addressed. “Nigerians are ready and we should mobilise them to ensure each and everyone gives his own contribution to educate our children, to educate our youths, to educate our adults for sustainable development. “No development can take place so far as a significant percentage of our population of our country remains illiterate.’’