An Educationist and Development Consultant for the United Nations Children’s Fund, Dr. Dayo Ogundimu, has identified poverty, early child marriage and others as some factors affecting girl-child education in Nigeria and other African countries.

Dr. Ogundimu, who is also the Principal Consultant, ComForch Development Communications, said these factors pose serious challenges to girl-child education.

He spoke at a two-day media dialogue on Cash Transfer Programme (CTP) organised by the United Nations Children Funds in collaboration with the Child Rights Information Bureau (CRIB) of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, in Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi State.

According to him, the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) programme being implemented by UNICEF in some states in the north would protect educational investment in the girl-child and help alleviate future poverty.

Ogundimu said: “In Nigeria and other developing countries, poverty is a critical barrier to the girl-child education.

“Cash Transfers are cash grants made to school age children (especially the girl-child) to enable them enrol, stay in school and complete their education. Also, cash grants help the beneficiaries to pay for things that are essential for their schooling – books, writing materials, fees, etc.

“On a global scale, cash transfers contribute to poverty reduction in the family and the community.

“The Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) provides financial support to families for specific purpose, e.g. to ensure proper school participation by school-age children (especially the girl-child).

“CCTs protect educational investment in the girl-child today in order to alleviate future poverty.”

The State Project Coordinator, Educate -A-Child/UNICEF, Isah Usman, said the CTP would address some of the underlying causes of inequalities in education outcomes, such as poverty, social exclusion and malnutrition.