Osinbajo said Nigerian girls must strive to be innovative and different because the country relies on them for better creative ideas that would boost the economy.
Mrs Osinbajo made the call at the commemoration of this year’s International Day of the Girl Child organised by the National Centre for Women Development (NCWD) in Abuja.
The theme of the day was: “The Power of Adolescence Girl: Vision 2030’’.
According to her, Nigerian girls must strive to be innovative and different, saying the country relies on them for better creative ideas that would boost the economy.
She urged girls to make judicious use of their time, adding that they must be faithful in all they do because the society relies on them.
“I urge you all to take care and take hold of your own time to ensure a better future for yourselves and for the society at large.
“You must also strive to be different and innovative, know that you are special and a Nigerian princess and so must be morally upright.
“You must work hard to stand out among peers around the world. Girls deserved to be celebrated as they are important part of any society,” she said.
The Director-General of NCWD, Mrs Mary Ekpere-Eta, said the day provides an opportunity to further highlight the challenges and potential of adolescent girls and to raise awareness on different types of discrimination and abuse that girls suffer.
She also said it allows for engagement with many community and political leaders on the importance of girl rights to equal education.
“It is no longer news that the girl child continues to face challenges in many countries of the world, including Nigeria, in spite of the efforts by many national and international organisation to address the issues.
“What is news is the unwholesome dimension the trend is taking with new technology, high incidence of poverty and crime resulting in low school enrolment, completion, especially for girl child.
“Young girls are been used as sex slaves and baby making factories, increased rate of sex abuse, early and forced marriages resulting to VVF, trafficking under the guise of providing greener pastures, rape and other violence,” she said.
The director-general therefore urged the Federal and State Governments to build on policies to eradicate poverty particularly among females in the country.
Earlier, the UNICEF representative, Ms Tejia Vallandingham, appreciated the efforts of the government through the Universal Basic Education and other education sector policies, saying however a lot still needs to be done.
She said there was need to build and accelerate concerted efforts to reach out to the many missing Nigerian children missing education.
“The supply side of education has some serious concerns, both teacher quality and quantity needed to be addressed and school infrastructure is still a source of worry.
“UNICEF Nigeria is committed to improving the lives of Nigerian women and children. We continue to be committed to our partnership with the Nigerian Government to provide every child a quality education”.
She said that there were disparities in the access and achievement of quality education in the country in different categories by gender, residence, wealth and geographical location.
The representative of National Education Commission, Prof. Abubakar Haladu, said the theme was to create awareness and development capacity on gender and right of educating girls.
He said gender balance in education was the vital strategy for development of any nation, adding that it is pivotal to the dream of any nation to belong to the world power.
“Laws should be implemented to boost girls education that would enable them contribute their own quota to nation building,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that this year’s event is unique as it marks the 5th Anniversary of the declaration of Oct. 11 as the annual day in 2012.