By Blessing Olaifa, Abuja

The Presidency yesterday welcomed more private investments in the key sectors of the economy to reduce unemployment, poverty and the number of out of school children across the country.

Citing as impressive private sectors investments in the telecommunications industry as well as university education, the Presidency assured that no stone would be left unturned to encourage private investments in the economy.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Education Interventions,  Mr Fola Bank Olemoh said efforts by the private sectors to participate actively in key areas would be supported by the present administration.

Addressing participants at the 2nd African Education Conference organised by the Association for Formidable Educational Development (AFED) at the Public Service Training Institute,  Kubwa, Abuja,  Mr Olemoh said government is aware of the impressive contributions of the private sectors to the growth and development of the country.

Represented by an aide,  Favour Ilori,  Mr Olemoh noted that the coming of private universities have reduced the burden of the numbers of students seeking admission to government owned universities just as private sector investments in telecommunications have opened more telephone lines for Nigerians.

He commended the organisers of the conference for helping to reduce the number of out of school children in the country, asserting that private primary and secondary  schools and universities have helped in no small measures to reduce the statistics of out of school children.

Also Addressing the gathering virtually, an international patron of AFED,  Prof  James  Tooley of the University of Buckingham said in the time past it was discovered that the number of out of school children were exaggerated in Lagos State because a number of low cost and unregistered private schools actually provided education for the children.

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Tooley praised Lagos state government for allowing private schools to operate,  asserting that then it was discovered that there were about 15,000 private schools with over 2.5 million population of students.

He also explained that in allowing the schools to operate, the government saved within a period of ten years between 958 billion naira and 1.2 trillion naira from education budgets that could have gone to service the schools.

In his remarks, the President of AFED, Hon Orji  Kanu Emmanuel said the association has helped to reduce the number of out of school children by over 3 million across the country by providing education at affordable costs to children from low income households.

He said the association currently partners with the University of Buckingham on teachers training programmes to enhance the skills and abilities to impact on students.

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