The Senate urged the Federal Government to collaborate with states and local governments to urgently design and implement a workable arrangement to deploy well-armed security teams around all schools in Nigeria.
It also mandated its Committees on Basic and Tertiary Education to investigate the use of the $20m Safe School Initiative Fund launched in 2014 during the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
This was a sequel to a motion on “Urgent need for the Restoration and Revalidation of the Safe School Initiative in Nigeria”, sponsored by Senator Adi Odey Stephen (Cross River North).
The Safe School Initiative was launched with support from the United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown to ensure schools are protected and spaces safe for children and youths to learn.
The then-president, Jonathan, had committed about $10m in government funds; and Nigeria business leaders, $10m.
The initiative was backed by private businesses and foreign governments, including Germany and Norway.
Senator Stephen expressed concern that the rising insecurity in the country, with the advanced target at schools in diverse locations, had exposed the unimaginable decadence and dilapidation in the schools in Nigeria.
He said these incidents might instill fear in parents and guardians and force them to withdraw their children and wards from schools or prevent them from sending their children to schools.
He, however, said these attacks on schools by criminals could be contained and defeated through the full implementation of the “Safe School Initiative” by all stakeholders.