The Minister of Education in Nigeria, Alhaji Adamu Adamu, has described the illiteracy rate in the country as alarming.
Adamu made the remark when he paid a courtesy call on Gov. Alhaji Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State in Birnin Kebbi on Thursday.
The minister and the delegates were in the state for a two-day International Literacy Day conference organised by the National Commission for Mass Education.
Adamu said the country had about 65 million to 75 million illiterates, describing the figure as unbecoming and high, considering the country’s population.
“Education is the bedrock of any country’s development and any country that does not educate its populace is bound to fail.
“Unfortunately, in Nigeria we have a very large population of illiterates; the illiterates figure, considering our population, is unbecoming,’’ he said.
Adamu, who was represented by Mr Jonathan Mbaka, the Director of Basic and Secondary Education, Federal Ministry of Education, said that the federal government was targeting educating out-of-school children.
The minister said this was part of its strategic plan to reduce the number of the illiterates in the country.
“The government is doing all it can to reduce the number of children that are out of school.
“This includes the adoption of inclusive education where every Nigerian will be given the opportunity to go to school, regardless of background, ethnicity and gender,’’ he said. (NAN)