The Universal Basic Education Commission, Monday noted that the estimated figure for the number of out-of-school children in Nigeria is no longer relevant.
The commission noted that the availability of correct data on out – of-school children in the country is dependent on the conduct of a nationwide census.
The PUNCH reports that there have been controversies over the number of out-of-school children in Nigeria.
Early 2023, the United Nations Children Emergency Fund estimated the total number of out-of-school children to be over 20 million.
However, the outgoing Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu said though Nigeria accounts for 12.4 percent of the out-of- school children in Sub Saharan Africa, he argued that the number is not as much as the one given out by the UN agency.
“Our education challenge is an open secret. Out of 258 million out-of – school children worldwide, an estimated 62 million are in Sub- Saharan Africa. Nigeria accounts for 8 million which is 12.4 percent of the out-of-school children in sub – Saharan Africa,” Adamu said.
Speaking during a colloquium held in honour of the pioneer Executive Secretary of UBEC, Prof. Gidado Tahir, the present UBEC boss, Prof.Hamid Boboyi said, “The only disappointment is on one issue that I need to raise. You cannot get the number of out-of-school children from the National Personnel Audit for the simple fact that you need the population figures of the various age groups from National Population Commission and the National population Commission has not provided this.
“The estimate they have been making are no longer relevant so that is the reason why we are very desperate for a national census that can can give us an idea of our accurate population,” Bobboyi said.
The National Population Census which was meant to hold in May 2023 was postponed to an indefinite date by the regime of the outgoing president, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd).