MAIDUGURI – The Borno State Government on Wednesday expressed it readiness to partner with the Federal Government toward reopening all schools closed down because of insurgents attacks across the state.
Gov. Kashim Shettima made this known when he received the Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, in Maiduguri.
“I want to assure you that we are ready to partner with the Federal Government and development partners to address the current security challenges facing us.
“We are also ready to ensure the success of the Safe Our School Project which will allow us to reopen all schools closed down in Gwoza, Askira, Bama, Konduga and all other parts of the state,’’ he said.
The governor commended the Federal Government for the initiative, which he said, was laudable.
“We are extremely grateful for the minister’s visit to Maiduguri.
“I want to assure you that we are committed to this project, we have no desire to play politics with issues concerning the lives of our people,’’ Shettima said.
He said the state government would pay its counterpart funding to ensure the commencement of the project.
Okonjo-Iweala had said the Safe Our School initiative was a collaborative effort between the Federal Government, the development partners and the three states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe affected by insurgency.
“The project is a joint collaboration between the Federal Government, the development partners, the states, and communities to provide safe environment in schools so that our children can learn,’’ Okonjo-Iweala said.
The minister said that about $100 million dollars had been budgeted for the project, adding that the Federal Government had already set aside N1.6 billion for the project.
“We are expecting an equal amount from the private sector and the international community.
“Mr Gordon Brown, a former British Prime Minister, has pledged to raise the rest of the money,’’ She said.
Okonjo-Iweala said: “we will continue to help National Emergency Relief Agency provide relief to victims of the crisis.
“We will help restart the livelihood of those affected by the crisis; those who can go back to farm will be assisted with seedlings and other requirements.
“Schools will also be upgraded and made safer, our experts will help to put the kind of lightings that will make students feel they are in safer environment.’’
She also said the project would make the community safe to further motivate parents to send their children to school. (NAN)