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UBEC – Nigeria Requires 20,000 Schools and 907,769 Classrooms to Address Out-of-School Children Crisis

The Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) has revealed that Nigeria is in need of an additional 20,000 schools and 907,769 classrooms to accommodate the increasing number of out-of-school children in the country. This alarming statistic was disclosed by Hammed Boboyi, the Executive Secretary of UBEC, during a briefing to the Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman.

The issue of out-of-school children in Nigeria has been a subject of controversy, with conflicting figures reported by various sources. While official data for September 2023 has yet to be independently verified due to a delay in the national census, a 2022 UNESCO report estimated that Nigeria had approximately 20 million out-of-school children. However, the Nigerian government under former President Muhammadu Buhari disputed this figure, arguing that the country only accounted for 12.4% of the total number of out-of-school children in sub-Saharan Africa. This discrepancy was largely attributed to differences in the age brackets used for statistics.

Tackling Nigeria’s Out-of-school Children Menace

Addressing the pressing challenge of out-of-school children, Minister Tahir Mamman emphasized his administration’s commitment to prioritizing basic education in Nigeria. He stressed the critical role of the foundation level in the education sector and its impact on national development. The minister called on all states in the federation to demonstrate greater commitment by providing counterpart funding to accelerate the development of basic education, reaffirming the government’s dedication to ensuring every Nigerian child receives an education.

The forthcoming National Census is expected to provide accurate data and put an end to controversies surrounding the actual number of out-of-school children in Nigeria.


During his briefing, UBEC’s Executive Secretary, Dr. Hamid Bobo, highlighted the challenges facing the commission, including infrastructural gaps and inadequate manpower. These challenges have hindered efforts to ensure equitable access to quality basic education in the country.

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