By Akon Etumukwa
The federal government has said it budgeted over N7 billion in the last two years to provide security infrastructure in the 104 unity schools across the country.
Speaking at the inaugural weekend press briefing in Abuja on the policies, programmes and activities of the federal government in the education sector, the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, said the allocations were made in view of prevailing security threats in some parts of the country.
“Against the backdrop of insecurity in the north east, occasioned by Boko Haram as well as incidents of kidnapping in parts of the country, the Federal Government has decided to provide basic security facilities in our Unity Schools,” he stated.
Adamu said government has decided to provide perimeter fencing in the schools that are yet to have one, CCTV cameras within the school premises, as well as street lights powered by solar systems and modern security gates, among others.
The minister said the security infrastructural project in unity schools began last year, adding that in the 2017 budget, the federal government made a provision of N5 billion for those facilities to be provided for in 65 unity schools.
According to him, in the 2018 budget, the federal government provided a total of N2,025,811,972.99, for the provision of these facilities, with a total of 39 schools benefiting.
He said the Ministerial Tenders Board, MTB, has already approved the award of contracts for the provision of the security facilities, adding that in the coming weeks, contractors would begin to mobilize to their various sites.
Adamu, who gave a breakdown of schools across the six geopolitical zones to benefit from the intervention, explained that the briefing was part of efforts by government to be accountable to Nigerians, adding that it will keep the people abreast of what the current administration is doing to improve infrastructure in unity schools.
“The reason for briefing you and by extension, Nigerians, is that, as far as I am concerned, the best and only way to be accountable to the Nigerian people is through the media.
“Now that we have put these efforts of government in public glare, it will keep Nigerians abreast of what the Buhari administration is doing to improve infrastructure in our Unity Schools, as well as provide a secure environment for our children in these schools.
“Secondly, it will also enable civil society groups and communities where these schools are located to monitor implementation of the projects. Thirdly, it will enable you the media to give the Nigerian public the progress report on the implementation of these projects from time to time,” he said.