At the 2017 National Early Childhood Development conference organized by UNICEF, World Bank and GPE, the UNICEF country representative said that over six million children in Nigeria under the age of five are stunted due to malnutrition. Stunting as a result of malnutrition can cause irreversible physical and mental retardation. The World Bank has committed to supporting the Nigerian government in ensuring that each child reaches its full potential.
To achieve this, UNICEF recommended two years of free pre-primary education, six months of paid maternity leave and four weeks paternity leave for parents in Nigeria. Nigeria has committed 5% of its 2017 Universal Basic Education Fund to the development of early childhood education but the number of out of school children remains a challenge that must be addressed.