Boko Haram destroys 900 schools in Borno -Shettima

The Governor of Borno State, Alhaji Kashim Shettima on Thursday revealed that about 900 schools have so far been destroyed by members of Boko Haram within the last three years.

The governor who stated this during the inaugural meeting of the steering committee of the Safe School Initiative added that a total of 176 teachers have so far been killed by the insurgents.

The meeting, held at the headquarters of the Ministry of Finance, Abuja was attended by the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Governor of Yobe State, Ibrahim Geidam, and a representative of the governor of Adamawa state.

Also present at the meeting is the Publisher of Thisday Newspapers, Nduka Obaigbena and Business Mogul Aliko Dangote, Director-General National Emergency Management Agency, Alhaji Sani Sidi, representative of the National Security Adviser;representatives of the National Council of Women’s Societies Mrs. Edna Azura.

The meeting was part of measures aimed at ensuring a smooth implementation of the safe school project.

The highlights of the meeting, which was made available to our correspondent by the Special Adviser to the Minister of Finance, Mr. Paul Nwabuikwu, revealed that all members restated their commitment to take all necessary actions to restore safety to schools.

It said, “The committee was briefed by representatives of the emergency states led by Shettima, on the current state of education following the insurgency.

“Borno State, the hardest hit by the activities of Boko Haram reported that 900 schools have been destroyed and 176 teachers killed from 2011 to date.”

It said while further briefing is expected from Yobe and Adamawa representatives on the impact of the insurgents in their states, security and counter-terrorism experts from donor agencies at the meeting formally presented a road-map for school safety.

Some of the options being discussed by the committee for immediate implementation are visual, temporary and mobile schools; school at home, in a box, container and tents as well as longer term strategies for rebuilding schools

It said, “The committee underscored the need to work with parents, the community and other stakeholders in designing sustainable safe schools solution.

“A Technical committee was set up to work out the details and modalities for implementing key decisions. It had its first meeting immediately after the steering committee dispersed.”

Already, the sum of $20m had been raised for the project with the federal government contributing the sum of $10m while investors in the private sector had also provided the balance of $10m.

Similarly, an Indicative Grant of $1m from the African Development Bank as well as a Norway’s contribution of 10m Norwegian Krone (or $1.5m) had been secured for the project.

Okonjo-Iweala had, while addressing journalists shortly before the commencement of the meeting, said the $20m would be used to enhance the security of schools through establishment of village security committees to help in community policing.

She said, “This initiative will make our schools safer and we will not relent until the girls are found because we want them to come back to see that our schools are safer with a more conducive environment for learning.

“The international community has shown a strong support for this project, so this initiative would complement ongoing efforts by the government to secure the country.”