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‘62,000 schools are porous’ — Zainab Ahmed seeks cooperation with FG on security

‘62,000 schools are porous’ — Zainab Ahmed seeks cooperation with FG on security
April 20
22:08 2021

Zainab Ahmed, minister of finance, budget and national planning, says about 62,000 schools in the country can be easily accessed by external forces.

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Speaking on Tuesday at a programme tagged ‘Financing Safe Schools: Creating Safe Learning Communities’, Ahmed said the government will come up with a national plan to provide a conducive and safe learning environment for school children.

“62,000 schools are physically porous and this is a very large number. This is not to say that building a fence actually stops abductions,” she said.

“We must also educate children, teachers and communities and put alarm systems in place. Like the head of civil defence says, educate the communities to know what to expect and identify telltale signs of abduction.

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“We will come up with a national plan and use it as an instrument to mobile resources.”

Ahmed also said there is a need for private sector participation in providing facilities to schools.

She noted that governments at all levels will make provision in their budgets, specifically for the safety of the education sector.

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“We will also reach out to private sector in Nigeria, show them the plans and let them select which part of the plans they would be happy to contribute to or actually implement by themselves,” the minister said.

“If a business decides to go and build fence in schools or equip them with IT devices, that would be very much welcome.

“We must continue to appeal to our development partners that already have programmes that are designed to intervene in schools and hopefully create more programmes.

“We will make sure that funding is provided in the national budget and budgets of relevant ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs). We will also work with our colleagues in the state governments to make sure similar provisions are made in their budgets and local government budgets.

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“We must come together to renew/reimagine the federal government’s commitment to ensuring safe schools. This process must be government-led, it must be strategic, it must result in a multi stakeholder framework & plan of action that ensures sustainable financing.”

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