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Schools in 14 states, Abuja at risk of terrorists attack – FSSN

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Schools in 14 states, Abuja at risk of terrorists attack - FSSN

The Financing Safe Schools in Nigeria has disclosed that some schools in 14 states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) are at risk of terrorists attack.

Hajia Halima Iliya, the National Coordinator of organisation made the disclosure in light of the recent increase in mass kidnappings of students by bandits and insurgents.

According to her, the government has gathered information about schools that are at risk and are taking steps to help them.

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Although she didn’t reveal the names of the States, Hammed Abodunrin, the Commander of the National Safe Schools Response Coordination Centre for Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, mentioned that they included Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Benue, Yobe, Katsina, FCT, Kebbi, Sokoto, Plateau, Zamfara, and three more.

Recall that more than 400 students, teachers, and women who were kidnapped last week Sokoto and Kaduna states, while scores of IDPs were abducted in Borno, all of whom are still being held by their abductors.

The Federal Government started the Safe Schools Fund by kicking in $10 million, and the private sector pledged another $10 million.

This plan involves using a mix of actions at schools, in the community to keep schools safe, and specific steps to help vulnerable groups.

To show more backing for the program, the Federal Government set aside N15bn for the SSI in the 2023 budget. Iliya mentioned that the SSI is already up and running in various states.

Iliya explained what measures were being taken to protect schools from bandit attacks.“The project has taken off. We commenced implementation in 2023 with the flag off of the National Safe Schools Response Coordination Centre, which we intend to replicate at state and local government levels.

“The states have selected most at-risk schools in each senatorial zone for the implementation of National Plan on Financing Safe Schools Programme (2023-2026).’’

The Coordinator shared that state governors are looking to invest in the SSI to keep students and teachers safe in those areas.

She said, “Some states have made provision for the Safe Schools Programme in their 2024 budget in line with the National Plan. We intend to engage the states to guide them through the implementation.

“We’ve communicated to all the states; letters have been written for inclusion of Safe Schools in their budget and for them to select the most at-risk schools. More than 11 states have responded. The budget from states is for them to work on physical infrastructure such as fencing state schools and put other control measures.’’

She said that the security forces have ordered new equipment that will be sent to different state commands for their operations.

“Data of at-risk schools from 14 states, including the FCT have so far been collected for intervention. The Defence headquarters and DSS (Department of Security Services) are expected to mainstream Safe Schools through capacity building of their officers. N15b was provided and released as takeoff in 2023; utilisation is still ongoing,” she told Punch.

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