Sen. Ndume urges FG to revisit Safe School Initiative


By Naomi Sharang
Abuja, June 23, 2021 Chairman, Senate Committee on Army, Sen. Ali Ndume (APC-Borno), has called on the Federal Government to revisit the Safe School Initiative in order to tackle the issue of mass abduction.
Ndume gave the advice while speaking on Wednesday in Abuja, after the Senate passed a bill for the establishment of Federal College of Education (FCE) Gwoza.
He said the abduction of students was a temporal setback but expressed optimism that Nigerians were resilient people and would get out of it.
“The people are resilient and they know the importance of going to school. I am sure they will not allow the situation to stop them. We will get out of it.
“I think it is time that the Federal Government looked into the safe school initiative and revisit it to make our schools safer.
“The House of Representatives is investigating that. I am aware that Gordon Brown was supposed to Chair the programme and there were several donations made in that regard,” he added.
On the budget of the military, he said that never in the history of the Nigerian Military that a budget of N700 billion would be approved for the Armed Forces in this country since 1999.
“Even in this year’s budget, capital allocation to the Nigerian Army in particular is less than N30 billion.
“We have been crying out that the Nigerian Army is handicapped due to inadequate funds to procure necessary modern equipment to prosecute the war against insurgency and banditry.
“Fortunately, the President has sent a supplementary budget of N895 billion for the necessary equipment needed by the armed forces.
“With the new recruits and the new Chief of Army Staff, we are expecting that all forms of criminality come to an end.
“Criminality from the insurgency in the North-East, banditry in the North-West, and other challenges threatening the country’s security, will come to an end.
“We in the National Assembly, especially the committee on Army will do everything possible to carry out our oversight duties, to ensure that the money goes where it should go.
“With that, we are ready to face the challenges confronting us as a country,”he added