six geopolitical zones have 50% male enrollment

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The editor-in-chief of the African Center for Development Journalism (ACDJ), Rotimi Sankore, said that none of Nigeria’s six geographies can boast of having 50 percent male education.

Sankore, revealing this at the World Development Information Day Conference and Awards, held today at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Lagos, said that Nigeria has more of people who cannot read, write or keep their jobs.

He said: “We have a population that cannot read at all – North West 70%, North East 68%, Centre-North 50%, South West 19 and South East 20. In the North West , only 19% of men had completed secondary education, North-East 18 and Center-North 30%. South-West, South-East and South-South, it is above 40%, but none of the six geopolitical zones has more than 50% of men having completed secondary education. While those with lower high school completion rates are more unstable, more precarious, the rest of the country isn’t really far behind.

Sankore said only four states in Nigeria have a situation where more than 50% of males have completed secondary school. He added that no Nigerian state has a situation where 50% of women have completed secondary school.

Panelists at the event. Credit: Joseph Olaoluwa/ICIR

The veteran journalist, during his presentation, noted that Nigeria’s investment in human capital development was abysmal.

He said: “Please note that many of these issues are coming from the sub-national level, from the North East, North West and North Central states. It’s not because people don’t want to go to school, it’s because schools weren’t built. These states are in quasi-feudalism and no investment has been made.

Sankore pointed out that Nigeria had been continually plagued by underdevelopment, with low investment in human capacity

He said: “In 1960, the population of Nigeria was the same as that of France. In 2000 the population of France increased by 20 million, during the same period the population of Nigeria increased by 161 million. There are reasons why developed countries are more developed. One is investment in human capabilities versus population growth. The Institute for Statistics of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recently released new statistics that 20 million out-of-school children are between the ages of 6 and 16.

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He stressed the importance of gender equality, especially for women, “because if there is a large population of girls and women who cannot read, they are exposed to exploitation, high fertility rate and poverty, etc.”.

The higher the inequality in a country, he pointed out, the more fragile the country becomes.


Experienced business journalist seeking truth and upholding justice. Covered capital markets, aviation, maritime, road and rail, as well as the economy. Email advice to [email protected] Follow on Twitter @theminentmuyiwa and on Instagram @Hollumuyiwah.

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