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FG to launch national plan for safe schools

The Federal Government says it will launch the National Plan for Financing Safe Schools next month.

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed who made this known at a stakeholders’ forum in Abuja on Monday said it would make the learning environment safer for children.

After the abduction of about 300 school girls from Chibok, Borno State, the federal government in 2014 launched the Safe Schools Initiative as part of efforts to ensure that children in conflict areas or affected by insecurity continue with their education.

To further solidify the commitment to secure school, President Muhammadu Buhari in December 2019 signed the safe schools declaration ratification document.

In view of this, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed who highlighted the importance to safeguard schools from incessant attacks, said the forum had key players to come up with solutions to the challenge.

The Minister, represented by the Permanent Secretary Special Duties in the Ministry, Shehu Shinkafe pledged the commitment to adequate budgetary allocation to finance the National Plan.

Stakeholders to take ownership

In a paper presentation, the Director, Social Development at the Ministry of Finance and Chairman Steering Committee Financing Safe Schools, Dr Sanjo Faniran urged stakeholders to take ownership of the programme as it was the responsibility of all to ensure safety in schools.

Pointing out that insecurity at schools was a global issue, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Interior, Dr Shuaib Belgore appealed to participants to take the issue seriously for the future of the country.

Representatives from the Ministry of Education, Nigeria Governors Forum, State Commissioners for Education, security agencies and traditional rulers pledged their commitment to the success of the National Plan for Financing Safe Schools.  

The theme of the forum was Financing Safe Schools in Nigeria: Issues and Strategic options for the way forward

Writing by Annabel Nwachukwu; editing by Adeniyi Bakare