The Federal Government has awarded N5 billion contract for the construction of Almajiri schools across the country under the second phase of the Almajiri programme.
Vice President Namadi Sambo disclosed this Saturday in Katsina at the closing ceremony of the 26th National Quranic Recitation Competition.
Mr. Sambo said the first phase of the programme had been completed and would be commissioned on Tuesday in Sokoto by President Goodluck Jonathan.
He said the Federal Government and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) had signed a 98 million dollar loan agreement to promote the education of almajiris and the girl-child in Nigeria.
Mr. Sambo said there were over 9.5 million almajiris in the country who were not participating in the basic school education system.
He said that such children had the right to education like other Nigerians.
“A country must have well educated population to realise its development potentials.
“Islam is against the exploitation of the weak and does not allow for begging as a means of livelihood.’’
In his remarks, the Sultan of Sokoto, Saad Abubakar III, promised that traditional leaders would support government’s policies aimed at ensuring peace and unity.
He urged traditional and religious leaders to always preach the lesson and importance of peaceful coexistence and unity of the nation.
In his speech, Governor Ibrahim Shema of Katsina State urged Muslims to live in peace with one another and respect other people’s faith for peace to reign in the country.
Fourteen cars, 34 Keke NAPEP, 14 motorcycles, computers, digital Qurans and freezers, were among the items distributed to winners of various categories who participated in the competition.
Goni Mujitapha Muhammad from Katsina State was the overall winner, while Badiatu Abubakar from Bauchi, emerged overall winner from the female category.
Some dignitaries who attended the occasion included the Emirs of Kano, Katsina, Daura and Zamfara.
The deputy governor of Zamfara, representatives of the governors of Kano, Kaduna, Gombe and Bauchi were also in attendance.
The 27th National Quranic Recitation Competition will be hosted by Zamfara State government in 2013.