Chibok Girls Anniversary: FG Wants States, LG’s to Account for Billions Budgeted for Education.
***Wants Chibok Girls brought back safely.
The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osibajo has called on Nigerians especially Civil Society Organizations to make States and Local Government’s account for the hundreds of billions of naira budgeted for education over the years, since the violent crises plaguing the nation like extremism, terrorism and criminality has being traced to either lack of education or no education at all.
Speaking on the occasion of the 2nd year anniversary of the kidnap of Chibok Girls and the ‘Roundtable Discussion on Vulnerable People and Conflicts Situation in Nigeria’ the Vice President opined that there was little advocacy to ensure that states, local governments and even the federal government make enough provision for education of children and in particular, the vulnerable.
“As you all know, it is the responsibility of the states and local governments to ensure primary school education is not toyed with. It is a known fact that this has not been done over the years which has led to an army of millions of idle hands easy to deceive. Some people have to be held accountable. Of the 10.4million children out of school for instance, the vast majority of them are girls and these are the vulnerable group”.
On the Chibok girls, Osibajo noted that bringing back the girls safely was an issue which the Buhari administration was taking seriously noting however that Nigerians should not forget that before Chibok, we had the Bunu Yadi boys at the Bunu Yadi secondary school in Yobe state, 59 of them were killed in their boarding house just a couple of months before the Chibok incident. Of course there were several others who had been abducted and killed at various times before those incidents.
“But you cannot say the girls will be brought back next week or by this day. Every rescue attempt must take into account, the safety of the girls. We must exercise some caution and patience and stop thinking that this can be done and is not being done. There is local and international support in terms of information. We will do everything to bring back the girls and I pray this will be very soon”
Citing poverty as fallout that must be tackled to checkmate this malaise, he said, “In societies where you have extremely poor people, and large numbers of poor people, there must be a different way of looking at how you prepare and how you plan for that society. You must have a greater attention paid to how to provide for the very large numbers of the poor who cannot catch up in any way because they are far too poor and may not even live long enough to enjoy those things predicated in budgets.
“So we must pay some attention to how we design government programs and budgets. We must take into account the poverty of our people, question of education and health care should go along with that, especially education and health care for the most vulnerable is important.
“That is why one of the chief concerns of this government has been the social investment we are trying to make and which was provided for in the budget.
“About 500 billion has been provided for social interventions including conditional cash transfers to the very poorest, including loans to market women and persons who are engaged in informal trade, about a million of those, even in compiling the names and list of those who are the poorest, has been a difficult process, but we have been greatly assisted by the world bank and the bill gates foundation.
Aside education, Prof. Osibajo noted that the issue of systemic corruption has eaten so deep into the nation’s fabric that it will be extremely difficult to deliver any sort of services to the people unless corruption is dealt with.
“It is important we deal with systemic corruption because if it is not tackled, it will be extremely difficult to deliver any sort of services to the people. This can be seen in the way funds meant for the prosecution of the war on Boko Haram was diverted and funds meant for provision of infrastructure also diverted. So we must ensure that the system does not permit corruption.
Interior minister, Lt. General Abdulrahman Dambazau in his address stated that one of the fallouts of the Chibok girls’ abduction was the test case it placed on security agencies especially the intelligence community and the capacity to respond to such intelligence.
According to the minister, “If we had our intelligence organs working very well and in synergy, we would have pre-intelligence about the movement and nipped the mass abduction in the bud. It means we have to strengthen our institutions to be able to do their jobs”.
Dambazau also said there is need for the communities particularly those in the North east affected by insurgency to trust each other and jointly fight the trauma arising from the insurgency.
Explaining efforts in this regard, the minister said he recently held meetings with his counterparts from neighboring countries of the Lake Chad commission harped on the need for border security collaboration and partnership to prevent such issues as Chibok girls happening again since some people have said some of the girls were taken to Cameroon and some to Chad.
While noting that the Chibok Girls debacle was symbolic in the sense that there are quite a number of missing persons that the authorities do not know about, the minister added that military operations alone cannot deal with the issue of Boko Haram but will entail multi-sectorial and multi-lateral approach.
Other speakers at the roundtable included the National Security Adviser, Major General Babagana Mungonu (rtd) who was represented by Dr. Yemi Oyewumi, Ms Ayo Obe, Mrs. Mariam Uwais, and Ambassadors of the US, UK, France and a representative of the European Union in Nigeria.
Leave A Response