Reps probe N2bn Safe School Initiative Fund

House of Representatives, yesterday, resolved to investigate the utilisation of over N2 billion released for the Safe School Initiative as well as donations from countries and organisations for the scheme.


The House mandated its committee on Basic Education and Services to undertake the probe and report back in six weeks for further legislative actions.


The Green Chamber, also urged the Federal Government to collaborate with state governments to revive the Safe School Initiatives and deploy special security personnel to schools across the country.


This followed the adoption of a motion by Aniekan Umanah on “ need to Investigate the Failure of N2 billion Safe School Initiative Intervention Programme.”


Umanah, in his lead debate, noted that the Safe School Initiative was launched in 2014 to promote security, the safety of schools, pupils, students, teachers, as well as their facilities.


He said the objective of the programme was “to design and implement the best global standards through the employment of qualified teachers, provision of library and laboratory equipment.”


The lawmaker lamented that the rise in insecurity across the country, with schools as targets, has revealed the dilapidation of schools nationwide.


Umanah observed that “the activities of the insurgents and bandits have further exacerbated the already low levels of enrolment in education and literacy in the country as 910 schools have been destroyed between 2009 to 2016 while several schools have been forced to shut down due to security concerns in the last six months.


“Though an initial $20 million was donated for the take-off of the project in 2014 and as at 2018, $1,720,2406 has been realized as donations from countries and donor agencies, yet not much is on the ground to indicate seriousness to fully implement the objectives of the initiative.”

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