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Reps to probe failure of N2 billion safe school intervention programme

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Nigeria’s House of Representatives is set to begin investigations into the alleged failure of the N2 billion Safe School Initiative Intervention Programme (SSIIP) of 2014.

Honourable Aniekan Umanah of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who represents Akwa Ibom on the floor of the House, adopted the motion on Thursday, in Abuja.

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

“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.

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The activities of insurgents and bandits, he said, had further exacerbated the already low levels of enrolment in education and literacy as 910 schools were destroyed between 2009 and 2016, while several schools have been forced to shut down due to security concerns in the last six months.

The House went on to urge 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 then 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.

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