The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed has disclosed that the Federal Government has set aside the sum of N15 billion in the 2023 budget for the safety of school children.
Naija News reports that the money according to the minister was set aside to ensure the safety of children in school due to the series of violent attacks and kidnapping of school children in various parts of the country.
The minister, who made this disclosure at the training of safe school administrators in Abuja said the federal government could not come to terms with having more out-of-school children because of issues bothering insecurity.
Ahmed, who was represented by one Hajia Halima said her ministry has authorized for the funds to be released for the purpose for which it was set aside.
She said “We have written to the agencies to give them the go-ahead to upload into the Government Integrated Financial Management System (GIFMIS) platform for the release of funding for effective implementation.
“We had a national plan that was launched in December last year by the Minister of Finance Budget and National Planning in collaboration with the Ministry of Education for the protection of schools in the country. This is the component of the national plan. We intend to train them so that they can domesticate it in their various locations. That’s the state”
Also speaking at the gathering was the Commandant-General of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Dr Ahmed Abubakar Audi, who said an estimate of about 75% children (according to the UNDP) are in Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) without access to education.
He said “To further worsen the situation, parents are scared to send their children to schools thereby contributing to the high rate of out – of school children in the country.
“The National Safe School Plan being financed by the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning rolled out strategies for implementation assigning the NSCDC the role of the lead agency.
“This decision was taken cognizance of the lead role of the corps in the protection of critical national assets and infrastructure inclusive of schools/educational institutions.
“It is worthy of mention that the National Safe Schools Response Coordination Centre (NSSRCC) is one of the critical components of the implementation strategy saddled with the responsibility of coordinating safety and security responses for schools and host communities in collaboration with all security agencies and other relevant stakeholders.”