The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Lamido Sanusi, on Thursday, decried the low literacy level in the North saying that 93 per cent of female children in the region lacked secondary education.
The apex bank boss, who said this at this year’s Isaac Moghalu Foundation Leadership Lecture and Symposium held in Abuja, said the situation, if left unchecked, was detrimental to the economy.
The governor sited Jigawa State, where school completion rate among female is as low as seven per cent as an example.
Net enrolment of girls in schools in the country, according to him, is 22 per cent.
He said, “In the North-West, 70 per cent of women between 20 and 29 are unable to read, compared to 9.7 per cent in the South West.
“Only three per cent of females complete secondary education in the Northern zone. Now how do you build the country when 93 per cent of the girls in the most populous region of the country do not complete secondary schools?
“We are only treating the symptoms and not the ailment. We are spending so much on security compared to education and healthcare services. We cannot succeed in security without fixing the original problems
“If the women are sent to school and they have access to proper healthcare services, there may not be need to spend so much on security.”
He described illiteracy among women in the region as frightening, adding that senior female officials in the country had not done enough to assist the women folk.
Sanusi said, “The problem we have is that women are their own enemies. If you are a female minister or hold an important public position and after four years you cannot say what you did for women, shame on you.
“Many of these women secure these positions on the platform of gender, ethnicity among others and when they get there, they forget the ladder on which they went there.
“They become the queen bee and do not want to share the limelight with other women.”
He charged women to hold their counterparts, in leadership positions to account, adding that such move would help to reduce neglect.
Also speaking at the event, the Executive Director of IMoF, Mrs. Maryanne Moghalu, said the foundation would continue to focus on key areas to assist the society.
The areas, she said, include human capital development through education for under privileged children, strategic learning infrastructure support for educational institutions, vocational skills training, and public policy advocacy.
Moghalu added that the foundation would also examine the success of the country in developing women to leadership positions.
She expressed the need for women to be well trained and prepared for leadership roles in the public, private and non-profit sectors.
Moghalu stressed that the absence of women in leadership position had been identified by many countries including Nigeria as a major challenge in the process of economic and social development.
The foundation was founded in 2005 in memory of Mr. Isaac Moghalu, one of Nigeria’s pioneer diplomats and a former permanent secretary