The North East Development Commission Education Endowment Fund (NEDC-EEF) has pledged its commitment to the eradication of illiteracy and poverty in the North-East region.
The Chairman of the newly inaugurated Board of Trustees of the Fund, Mr David Kente, made the pledge in Abuja on Sunday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the board was recently inaugurated by the Chairman of the North East Development Commission (NEDC), Retired Gen. Paul Tarfa.
Kente said the board would work assiduously toward the development of sufficient human capital in order to acquire adequate capacity for infrastructure and socio-economic development of the region.
He also said that the board would build human capacity for the North-East zone through scholarship endowment.
He added that the commission would offer citizens of member states equal opportunity in ICT skills acquisition and educational training at graduate and post graduate levels.
“We are also determined to provide educational training for families at ward, local government and senatorial district levels in all the states and further the education of over 2,400 beneficiaries of the Safe School Initiative (SSI) beyond secondary school level.
“We will offer opportunity for training orphaned children and other vulnerable groups currently not benefitting from the safe school initiative.
“We will also provide short term but impactful entrepreneurship training programmes to candidates whose primary school or secondary school education was truncated by the Boko Haram and other crisis.
“Similarly, we intend to offer special scholarship opportunities to talented youths engaged in sports and also establish a North East Regional Sports Institute in the future and support the training of nurses, midwives and retraining of teachers and vocational training for women and youths.
“These will in no small measure fight the menace of low human capital and illiteracy in the North-East,” he said in a statement.
Kente said that based on the UNDP Human Development Reports of 2018, North East states had a Human Development Index (HDI) scores below the national average.
He gave an assurance that the board would partner with states’ education architecture, local and international development partners in the education sector, as well as donor agencies, to achieve its core mandate of creating an educated citizenry.
“This we believe will change the educational landscape of the region. Our intention and target is to get the first set of beneficiaries of the programme into various institutions by the beginning of the next academic session,” he said.
Kente appreciated the support of the chairman and members of the Governing Board of NEDC for setting aside the approved grant to enable the board hit the ground running with the activities of NEDC-EEF.