By Cynthia Ezekwe.
The federal government said it has budgeted the sum of N15 billion to fund the implementation of the Safe Schools initiative to enable children affected by conflicts and insecurity to continue with their education without any hindrance.
Halima Iliya Ibrahim, the national coordinator, financing Safe Schools in Nigeria, disclosed this at a press conference held recently in Abuja, noting that the initiative would strengthen the detection, deterrence and response capabilities of the security agencies, as well as equipping the school security, response and coordination centres across the states in Nigeria.
Ibrahim explained that the national plan on financing safe schools was developed and launched in December, 2022, adding that the national plan will be implemented between 2023 -2026, with a total investment size of N144. 8 billion.
“The plan proposes N32.58 in 2023, N36.98 billion in 2024, N37. 15 billion in 2025 and N38.03 billion in 2026 respectively. To this end, the federal government has made a provision of N15 billion in 2023,’’ she added.
The national coordinator noted that FG plans to fund the initiative, through annual budgetary provisions from federal, state, and local governments, government interventionists, agencies, foreign and multilateral institutions, businesses and philanthropists, as well as donor agencies.
According to the implementation strategy,the plan aims at covering 50 per cent of the Most-at-Risk schools across the country over a medium term 2023-2026 through building and integrating security resilient host communities in the protection of education.
Ibrahim further pointed out that a key milestone in the plan implementation was the flag-off of the national school security and coordination centre by the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).
She added that ensuring safe schools for all Nigerian children was a responsibility for all good-spirited Nigerians, urging everyone to work with the federal government to make the initiative a success.