FG votes N15bn for safe school projects in 18 high-risk states


Of the N144.8 billion projected to be spent on Safe Schools programme from 2022-2026, the federal government has approved N15 billion to finance projects in no fewer than 48 schools in each of 18 security-prone states.

The national coordinator of the programme in the federal ministry of finance, budget and national planning, Ms Halima Illiya, disclosed while addressing journalists in Abuja yesterday.

She said state governments would budget for the Safe Schools Initiative from next year to support the federal government.

Illiya noted that schools in the country were struggling with persistent attacks by extremists, bandits, and kidnappers, which compelled the government to launch the safe school programme.

“We have sent an advanced team to states. We have shortlisted 18 states, very high-risk states, and we hope to cover, between 2023 and 2026, the entire 36 schools… We are expecting 48 schools from each state.”

She also said the plan is to cover 50 per cent of most of the public schools at risk of attacks over the medium term.

To finance and implement the programme, the previous administration approved the setting up of the financing safe schools unit and a technical committee.

The committee is composed of members from the ministry of education, Nigerian Governors Forum, Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Department of States Services, and Defence Headquarters.

The committee was tasked with developing a national plan for financing safe schools.

The plan provides funding requirements for the initiative, which is expected to gulp a total of N144.8 billion in three years.

“A national plan on financing safe schools was developed and launched in December 2022. The national plan will be implemented between 2023 and 2026, with a total investment size of N144.8 billion.

“The plan proposes N32.58 billion in 2023, N36.98 billion in 2023, N37.15 billion in 2025, and N38.03 billion in 2026, respectively. To this end, the federal government has made a provision of N15bn in 2023.”

She added that the funding of the initiative will be provided by the federal, state, and local governments, alongside multilateral agencies, foreign governments, businesses, and philanthropists, among others.

“We are engaging the governors. We are holding high-level meetings. We have had meetings with the governors of Benue, Bauchi, Borno state… and all these governors have given us commitment. They have assured us that they are going to have it in the subsequent budgetary provision,” she added.

Meanwhile, she said the NSCDC had trained about 350 personnel while the police was planning to train some personnel towards the implementation of the project.


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