FG earmarks N15BN for the Implementation of Financing Safe Schools Initiative

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The Federal Government has earmarked a sum total of N15 billion to fund the implementation of Financing Safe Schools for 2023. The National Co-ordinator on Safe Schools Initiative, Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Halima Illiya Ibrahim disclosed this during the Press briefing, held in Abuja.

The National Co-ordinator stated that the aim of the Initiative was to enable Children affected by conflicts and insecurity to continue with their education unhindered, and charting a way forward in addressing attacks on education.

She mentioned that in order to achieve progress in achieving the various commitments to protect Schools and Children from further attacks, the immediate past Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. (Dr.) Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed approved the setting up of Financing Safe Schools Secretariat/Unit for planning and coordinating Safe Schools activities in the Ministry, adding that, a Technical Committee or Technical Working Group which constituted critical agencies, Ministry of Education, Nigerian Governor’s Forum (NGF), Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Department of State Security Service (DSS) and Defense Headquarters, were saddled with the responsibility to develop a National Plan on Financing Safe Schools, and consequently, in December 2022, developed a plan, which was launched, which will be implemented between 2023 – 2026 with a total investment size of N144.86 billion.

According to her, the plan proposes N32.58 billion in 2023, N36.98 billion in 2024, N37.15 billion in 2025 and N38.03 billion in 2026 respectively.

She added that funding of the plan is through Annual Budgetary provisions from Federal, States and Local Governments, government interventionists, Agencies, Foreign and multilateral institutions, Businesses and philanthropist, Donors partners and others.

Mrs. Ibrahim reiterated that the implementation strategy’s aims is to cover 50% of the most at risk Public Schools over the medium term 2023 – 2026, disclosing that, the implementation of the National Plan have kick start with Eighteen (18) high risk States and Forty-eight (48) Schools, hoping that it will spread across States by 2024.

She hinted that the plan is focusing on achieving the following;
a. Building and integrating security resilient host communities in the protection of education.
b. Strengthen the defection, deference and response capabilities of the security agents.
c. Equipping the School security, response and coordination centres in Abuja and States respectively.
d. Regular engagements and policy advocacy with the Nigeria public and key government officials on implementation of National Plan.

Dr. Ebenezer Leo, Head of Education and the representative of the Nigeria Governor’s Forum, in his vote of thanks said that, safeguarding of Schools is a collective responsibility for all, which Governor’s Forum is much interested, adding that, stakeholders, States and sub-national government are very much committed and fully in agreement in the safeguarding of Children and protection of Schools, assuring that funds released will be adequately utilized and promising that the committee will record significant achievement before the year runs out.

The Press Briefing was well attended by the representatives of the Nigerian Defence, Department of State Security Service, Nigeria Governor’s Forum, Nigerian Police Force, members of the press amongst others.

Stephen Kilebi
D (Press and Public Relations)