Nigerian Gov’t to provide security as 62,000 schools physically porous

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The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed has said that the Nigerian Government will come up with a national plan to provide a conducive and safe learning environment for school children.

Zainab who disclosed this while speaking on Tuesday at a programme tagged “Financing Safe Schools: Creating Safe Learning Communities”, also said that about 62,000 schools in the country are insecure and are susceptible to attacks.

The Minister said, “62,000 schools are physically porous and this is a very large number. This is not to say that building a fence actually stops abductions,” she said.

“We must also educate children, teachers and communities and put alarm systems in place. Like the head of civil defence says, educate the communities to know what to expect and identify telltale signs of abduction.

“We will come up with a national plan and use it as an instrument to mobile resources.”

Ahmed also added that there is a need for private sector participation in providing facilities to schools, noting that governments at all levels will make provision in their budgets, specifically for the safety of the education sector.

“We will also reach out to the private sector in Nigeria, show them the plans and let them select which part of the plans they would be happy to contribute to or actually implement by themselves,” the Minister said.

“If a business decides to go and build a fence in schools or equip them with IT devices, that would be very much welcome.

“We must continue to appeal to our development partners that already have programmes that are designed to intervene in schools and hopefully create more programmes.

“We will make sure that funding is provided in the national budget and budgets of relevant ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs). We will also work with our colleagues in the State Governments to make sure similar provisions are made in their budgets and local government budgets.

“We must come together to renew/reimagine the federal government’s commitment to ensuring safe schools. This process must be government-led, it must be strategic, it must result in a multi-stakeholder framework and plan of action that ensures sustainable financing,” she concluded.

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