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Kidnappings Will Force Many Nigerian Children Out of School, Into Early Marriages – Okonjo Iweala

World Trade Organisation Director-General Ngozi Okonjo Iweala has appealed to the conscience of kidnappers who have been terrorising Nigerian schools and abducting students.

“It makes my heart weak and bleed when such abductions happens, especially to the girls and the first instincts of the parents is to say they won’t send their children to school because nobody wants their child abducted, whether it is a boy or girl,” Okonjo-Iweala said while she visited the minister of women’s affairs, Pauline Tallen.

“If you check, you will see many of the children will no longer return to school and may then enter into early marriages, so whoever these kidnappers are, hold your peace, please leave our children alone,”

“It is shameful that we have this kind of thing happening,” she added.

She equally appealed to the President and the minister of finance, of finance to revive the safe schools’ initiative which would ensure the provision of solar light fence barriers to keep schools safe as these children are the ones that Nigeria is training for the future.

“My visit is to also see how the WTO can engage with Nigeria to try to help improve the economy, trade and the challenge on how to assist women entrepreneur so that they move from the small thing they are doing to
the next level,” she adds.

Speaking on the significance of her appointment as head of the WTO, wife of the President, and Nigeria’s first lady, Aisha Buhari said Iweala has become a role model that women and young girls look up to in order to spur themselves to success.

Represented by the Senior Special Assistant to the president on Administration in the office of the first lady, Buhari said “Our image in the world as Nigerian women has improved and we are very proud of you because your appointment is a well-deserved one as you served your country very well with humility, skills, knowledge and all it takes to drive the responsibilities given to you.

You are a role model and we want women in positions to actually play their role as models so that younger generation of women can emulate them. Alll Nigerian women are looking up to you to see what you can do, not only for Nigeria, but the world.

Tallen urged the DG to support her ministry and women so that together, they will make Nigeria, Africa and the world proud.


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