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FG Budgets N144bn to Safeguard Schools in 4-Year Plan

The Federal Government plans to raise and spend over N144bn to execute the Safe Schools Initiative in vulnerable states over the next 4-year period from 2003 to 2006.
This disclosure was made Friday by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Dr. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, during the launch of the national plan for financing safe schools.
The objectives of the plan as listed by a document made available to participants at the event are 5-fold viz: strengthen security resilience and integrate host communities in the protection of education, enhance the school community’s capacity to protect education, create an effective and efficient national school security and emergency response infrastructure, enhance the capacity of security agencies to gather intelligence, prevent and respond to attacks on education, and provision of assistance to survivors of attacks on education.
To this end, the document disclosed that the Government had categorized the implementation plan by priority into Short-term, covering Very High Risk States and Medium- Term which covers High Risk States. The VHR states are those which are at risk of threats by Ansarul / ISWAP terrorists/ insurgents, Boko-Haram inspired bandits and sundry armed bandits, while the HR states are exposed to threats by separatists groups, ethnic militia, organized armed criminal gangs and illicit drug use.
The Very High Risk States according to the classification are Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Niger, Kaduna, Zamfara, Katsina, Kebbi, Jigawa, FCT, Plateau, Benue, Taraba, Kogi and Bauchi. The states which make up the High Risk category are: Edo, Delta, Rivers, Cross Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Ebonyi, Lagos, Enugu, Imo, Anambra, Abia, Osun, Oyo, Ondo, Ekiti, Bayelsa, Kwara, Gombe and Kano.
The Honourable Minister stated that the plan proposes N32.58bn in 2023, N36.9bn in 2024, N37.15bn in 2025 and N38.03bn in 2026. The government at the centre has therefore created a provision of N15b in the 2023 budget for this purpose while the states and development partners take up the rest. On the whole, the Federal Government intends to take charge of over 82% of the N144bn amounting to over N119bn over the 4 year period.
The minister reiterated government’s commitment “to investing in initiatives that would safeguard our teaching and learning environments for the sake of posterity and economic development.”
While challenging relevant stakeholders on the need for speedy implementation of the plan, the Minister expressed confidence that the programme will address the challenge of violent attacks in the Education sector.
Addressing concerns about accountability, she promised that the funds will be diligently tracked by the government and urged development partners to activate their monitoring tools and strategies for periodic performance valuation in order to achieve the goal.
Earlier, several goodwill messages had been delivered by various stakeholders including the Nigerian Governors Forum, Ministry of Education, the Chief of Defence Staff, the Inspector-General of Police, the Commandant- Genral Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corp (NSCDC), etc.

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