Sultan of Sokoto Muhammadu Abubakar and Governor Babagana Zulum of Borno praised Vice President Yemi Osinbajo for his commitment to educating vulnerable children in the northeast.
The duo spoke at the fifth anniversary of the North-East Children’s Trust School (NECT), known as the North-East Learning Center on Monday in Abuja.
The centre, located in Maiduguri, Borno, is an initiative of the Vice President with the aim of providing comprehensive educational support and care to 10,000 children orphaned or displaced by the Haram insurgency in the northeast.
Abubakar, who described NECT as an excellent initiative, congratulated the Vice President and everyone else involved in the program.
“I would like to thank you, Mr. Vice-President, for your commitment and concern; pursue such projects not only to start, but are maintained and even celebrate the fifth anniversary of having taken off in April 2018.
“I would like to thank the Governor of Borno for his total commitment and selfless service to humanity.
“Over the past three years we have looked at what you are doing; definitely, with your support, this project, NECT is gaining strength and strength; because it is very important for us as religious leaders, you know the importance of caring for orphans and the less privileged.
“We would like to thank the initiators of this project; and all those who have contributed in one way or another to the success of this fifth anniversary of NECT.
“It’s a great initiative,” he said.
For his part, Zulum hailed the vice president’s vision in establishing NECT in Borno.
According to him, Borno has about 39,311 orphans; and a total of about 50,000 widows.
“These are official figures; unofficial figures are more than that; and hence, the establishment of this learning center especially in Maiduguri will go a long way in reducing the number of out-of-school children in Borno State.
“A very important aspect of this learning center is that it is essential for development.
“In addition to providing children with intensive literacy and numeracy classes, this school also offers a solid technical and vocational education to students; provides strong digital literacy to students.
“And I think that’s the kind of education we’re looking for; because it will empower the students,” she said.
In his remarks, Osinbajo, just before cutting the birthday cake, went to the past and paid tribute to former Borno Governor Kashim Shettima for his role in the establishment of NECT.
He said: “I want to start when in 2016 I visited Borno, it was 2016, not 2018; 2018 is the opening of the school.
“It took about a year to build it, but our first meeting was in 2016; and we started fundraising in 2016 and March 2017 and spent almost a year building the school. It was in 2018 that the first children were brought to school.
“But I would like to say that the then Governor of Borno, Shettima and I visited several IDP camps during my visit to Borno, and we both came to the conclusion that something had to be done. .
“Of course, the Borno government was already doing a lot of work; trying to accommodate students; trying to build schools and all that.
The Vice President said that Shettima allocated the chosen land where the school was built.
According to him, Borno may have been one of the luckiest states in this country; just go that the state had.
“Immediately after Shettima comes Zulum; no state can do better than Zulum taking over from a dynamic predecessor, Shettima.
“I am told that about 173 of the children are now in secondary school; even schools, school buildings, I was in Borno about three weeks ago and we walked around and saw the school; we met these young men and women who are now in high school.
“I think at the end of the day, service to the people is what we are in government for; if we are not able to serve the people with all we have; with all our heart, then our role is really irrelevant; perhaps unjustified.
“So I really want to congratulate Zulum and of course his predecessor for the great job they did,” he said.
Osinbajo congratulated the directors and teachers of the center for the excellent work they are doing in the direction of the institution; management policy; lead plans and teach with purpose.
Previously, Jim Ovia, Chairman of the Board of NECT, also congratulated the Vice President for the initiative and said he was honored to be part of the success of the project.
Furthermore, Dr. Mariam Masha, Executive Secretary of NECT, said that the commitment to fulfill the mandate remains very strong.
However, the event brought together governors, members of the Federal Executive Council, traditional chiefs, members of the National Assembly, members of the diplomatic corps, among others.
It has also presented cultural dances and talent shows in robotics, computer programming, word games, among others.
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