From Fred Itua, Abuja
The Senate, yesterday, said it would investigate allegations of abuse of the funds put together to execute the Safe Schools Initiative.
It was introduced by the Goodluck Jonathan administration in 2014. The initiative was launched by Nigerian business leaders through the Global Business Coalition for Education, A World At School and the UN Special Envoy for Global Education, Gordon Brown to ensure schools are protected and ensure safe spaces for children and youths to learn.
President Jonathan had committed about $10 million in government funds to match the initial $10 million provided by Nigerian business leaders, making a total of $20 million.
Adopting a motion sponsored by Stephen Odey, the Senate also urged the Federal Government to collaborate with the various state governments in order to restore, revive and revalidate the programme.
The upper legislative chamber equally urged the Federal Government to collaborate with the various states and local government areas/area councils to urgently design and implement a workable arrangement to deploy well-armed security teams around all Schools in Nigeria.
According to the Senate, the latest development in the activities associated with insecurity, especially as it relates to the invasion of school premises as well as kidnap of students and teachers for ransom can be contained and defeated through the full implementation of the safe school initiative by all stakeholders.
During debate on the motion, Minority leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe, had charged the Senate, to look into the allegation of abuse of the fund meant for the execution of the Safe Schools Initiative.
Abaribe’s prayer was immediately accepted and the Senate committees on Basic and Tertiary Education was directed to carry out the investigation.