07 August 2020 by Lawal Mohammed
The Chief Executive, Follow The Money Campaign and Connected Development, Mr. Hamzat Lawal, has been listed as a Malala Fund Education Champion alongside 57 others from around the world.
This is contained in a statement by the Chief Programmes officer, Malala Fund, Maliha Khan on the Malala website.
Part of the objectives of the Fund is to accelerate progress towards girls education.
Mr.Lawal was named alongside other notable Nigerian campaigners including Executive Director, Education as a Vaccine, EVA, Mr.Olabukunola Williams and Program Manager, Restoration of Hope Initiative (ROHI) Mr.Benjamin John.
According to the statement, as the COVID-19 pandemic threatens to force millions of girls out of school the Champion-led programmes and advocacy is now more important.
Reacting to the announcement, Mr.Lawal said “it is an honour for him to be listed among those who had contributed to the fight for the rights of the girl- child to education, especially in Africa.
He said the increasing number of out-of-school children especially in Northern Nigeria had continued to be an issue of great concern.
According to him statistics shows that for every 100 boys of primary school age, 121 girls are denied the right to education, worsening gender-based discrimination and putting girls at a disadvantaged situation.
“The Issues of water, sanitation and hygiene, among many cases of insecurity affecting the delivery of education in conflict affected areas, were also factors driving children – particularly girls – away from the classrooms
.we will use CODE’ Follow The Money model to train and launch citizen-led teams to identify barriers to girls’ education in Adamawa State, the Northeast Nigeria, as well as advocate and track the State’s spending on education as well as encourage government to invest in gender-responsive schools and create a safe space for girls to reach their full potential in life” Mr. Lawal stated.
He noted that education had remained one of the Follow The Money’s focal thematic areas, through which the initiative had facilitated the provision of several school amenities and infrastructure across rural communities in Nigeria ,through various social accountability mechanisms.
Mr.Lawal said the Organization had also led civil society campaigns for the amendment of the Universal Basic Education (UBE) Act.
According to him, the organization also championed and co-organized other key campaigns for Girl-Child education in Northern Nigerian, stressing that during crisis, education and equal opportunity should be for all children irrespective of gender.
The Girl Child education activist and Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Malala Yousafzai visted Nigeria in 2017 and was received in the Presidential Villa by Vice President Yemi Osibanjo.