May 6, 2021

Reps to investigate failure of N2b safe school intervention programme

schools infrastructure

The House of Representatives said it would investigate the failure of the N2 billion Safe School Initiative Intervention Programme (SSIIP).

The move followed the adoption of a motion by Rep. Aniekan Umanah (PDP-Akwa Ibom) on the floor of the House, on Thursday, in Abuja.

Moving the motion, Umanah noted that the objective of the programme was to design and implement the best global standards in schools, through the employment of qualified teachers.

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Others included the provision of library and laboratory equipment, conducive teaching and learning environment, as well as provision of habitable classrooms and hostels in the educational sector.

He stated that the activities of insurgents and bandits had further exacerbated the already low levels of enrolment in education and literacy as 910 schools were destroyed between 2009 to 2016, while several schools were forced to shut down due to security concerns in the last six months; Umanah said that the unfortunate increase in security crisis in the country, with schools as targets, witnessed recently, had exposed the unimaginable decadence and dilapidation of schools in the country.

He said that some students learn under trees, use blocks as desks, while the roofs of most classrooms are completely blown off, adding that some hostels are in pitiable states and most schools are currently without perimeter fences.

“An initial $20 million was donated for the take-off of the SSIIP in 2014, and as at 2018 a total of N41 billion has been realised as donations from countries and donor agencies,” he said.

He added that not much was on the ground to indicate any seriousness to fully implement the laudable objectives of the initiative, as it related to the safety of schools, students, teachers and facilities;

The House urged the Federal Government to collaborate with State governments to restore, revive and revalidate the SSIIP and deploy special Security personnel to schools across the country.

The House mandated the Committee on Basic Education and Services to carry out an investigation into the use of over N2 billion released for SSIIP, alongside other donations from foreign countries and Organisations.

It asked the committee to report back within six weeks for further legislative action.