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Opportunity EduFinance
Level 18, 100 Bishopsgate, London EC2M 1GT

Telephone: +44 (0) 7768599834

© 2024 Opportunity International Education Finance functions under its US and UK affiliates. Opportunity International United Kingdom is registered as a charity in England and Wales (1107713) and in Scotland (SCO39692). Opportunity International United Statesis a 501(c)3 nonprofit.

Bringing EduQuality to Nigeria

By Catherine O’Shea and Maham Khuhro

Nigeria EduQuality launch 

In a new set of data released by UNESCO in September 2022, we learned that the education gap in Nigeria was even worse than we previously thought. Recently filled ‘data gaps’ revealed an estimated 20.2 million children and youth are out-of-school across Nigeria. This is nearly double the previous estimates of 10.5 million out-of-school children.

There is no way to overstate the education crisis that children are facing in Nigeria. At Opportunity EduFinance, we are committed to supporting solutions that can make an impact for this current generation of learners.  


Nigeria is now the 9th country where Opportunity EduFinance is delivering EduQuality, our holistic three-year school development program offered to local affordable non-state schools.

The team launched EduQuality in late October 2022 with 120 local schools spread across three areas in the Lagos state of Nigeria: Ikorodu city in North-East of Lagos, Alimosho Local Government Area (Ikeja division) and Yaba suburb in Lagos Mainland Local Government Area. 

Three EduFinance partner financial institutions – LAPO, EdFin & Bowen – played a critical role in the launch, inviting their school loan borrowers to attend the Introductory Seminar and sending representatives to participate.

At the seminar, schools were organized into 18 clusters, creating small peer networks for ongoing collaboration, each supported by an Education Specialist. School leaders also used their newly distributed tablets to complete their first annual Pathways to Excellence school self-assessment, diagnosing their school’s quality across 18 domains to identify their current challenges and key areas for improvement.

Dr Innocent Masengo, Head Education Specialist for Africa, spoke about the preparation and delivery of the recent successful EduQuality launch in Lagos, Nigeria.

Why do you think Nigeria needs the EduQuality program?

Nigeria is one of the biggest markets in Africa – it is an economic hub at the center of Sub-Saharan Africa. We talk about how 6 out of 10 children globally are not learning, and as Nigeria has one of the biggest global populations, it is the right market for us to penetrate right now.

How is the education landscape in Nigeria different to other countries?

The demographics in Nigeria are similar across our EduQuality countries in Africa, especially in Ghana, where we first launched the EduQuality program in 2016. When we compare the education landscape between Nigeria and Ghana, they follow the same academic calendar, the same examinations for West Africa and many other similarities that align.

In Nigeria, there is a high concentration of non-state schools. There are more than 20,000 low-cost non-state schools just in Lagos. One of the school leaders at the introductory seminar, who is also chairing the Association of Low-Cost Private Schools in Lagos, explained that there are more than 4,000 private schools in that association alone. Lagos has a very large population of over 15 million people, with many low-income families who need low-cost schools for their children to have access to education. This tells us a lot about the situation in Lagos when it comes to low-cost non-state schools; there is a much higher concentration compared to other countries in West Africa.

Intro Seminar

What preparations did you make before launching Nigeria EduQuality?

We had to identify the schools and their financial institutions that are partnering with EduFinance. Once we had identified these schools and partners, we started selecting schools that met our EduQuality criteria: low-cost, pre-primary or primary schools, and they had to be located within Lagos, the target area to launch the program.

Alongside this was the procurement of tablets for school leaders and teacher mentors. We have implemented a blended program, with digital and face-to-face components. By the time the schools were ready, so were the tablets, and we then set them up on the Chalkboard Education app.

How did schools respond to the EduQuality launch?

It was overwhelmingly positive. We invited school proprietors in Lagos to an Introductory Seminar where we presented them an overview of the EduQuality program. This includes our value proposition, the journey of Pathways to Excellence for school development planning, School Leadership Professional Development workshops, Teachers Mentor Professional Development training - and how all this will add value to the schools, in the short, medium, and long run.

At the end of the workshop, 120 schools decided to join EduQuality. This is likely to expand to around 140 schools by December, as we are still receiving calls from schools wanting to join, which has been overwhelmingly positive for us.

First, we will be concentrating on supporting these schools, as they help us learn about the Nigerian market. For the next three years, our plans to scale or expand will be based on the experience with this first cohort of schools we have started within Lagos.

How has EduQuality’s experiences in other countries helped to plan for this new launch?

Every launch is better than the last, as we keep learning what to do and what not to do. We learn to manage our own expectations as well as those of the schools. This was one of our first big launches post-Covid. There was a lot of excitement and a quick buy-in from schools, especially because of the challenges schools faced during and immediately after Covid. This has made them more receptive to the interventions we are offering.

Compared to where we have launched before, the response in Nigeria was more positive than ever, and this could be attributed to everything we have learned and applied. Also, our selected financial institution partners in Lagos were very involved this time in preparing and advising these schools.

What do you hope for the EduQuality program in Nigeria?

If you look at Nigeria’s place in Africa, it is one of the largest economies, not necessarily in GDP, but it has the largest markets and is also one of the most fast-paced. Once we succeed in Nigeria to positively impact school quality, there will be a lot of opportunities for expansion. Our team is very excited about this launch. If we succeed in Nigeria, we believe can succeed at supporting schools to improve their quality of education anywhere.


To find out more about Opportunity EduFinance's work in Nigeria read our recent blog.



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