By Isaac Uzaan
The Executive Governor of Benue State, Rev Fr Dr Hyacinth Iormem Alia has acknowledged the efforts of the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Federal Ministry of Education in safeguarding the safety of schools in Benue State.
The Governor made this known while addressing the Federal Team on Financing Most-at-Risk Schools in Nigeria, who paid him a courtesy visit at Government House, Makurdi.
He said Benue State has a catalog of poorly maintained school buildings, limited classes, and unfenced schools which stand the risk of being attacked and encroached upon.
Governor Alia added that, the efforts of the team towards financing safe Schools for students and educators in conflict prone areas and fragile communities cannot be overemphasized.
He admitted that Benue has witnessed several conflicts which has put schools at risk and has left the government battling with the challenge of providing education for IDPs living in camps and host communities.
The Governor, who appreciated the team for selecting Benue State among the pilot states for implementation of the project, assured them that needed budgetary lines will be taken care of to address issues of sustainability where applicable.
While appreciating President Tinubu for considering Benue State in this venture, Governor Hyacinth Alia expressed the believe that his administration will put Benue educational sector back on the right path.
Earlier, the National Coordinator on Safe Schools Project, Federal Ministry of Finance, Hajia Halima Iliya said Nigeria has been facing attacks on schools in recent years which prompted the initiative for safe Schools to ensure that children continue with their education unhindered.
She said the team has already visited 48 schools out of the 531 Most-at-Risk Schools identified in Benue State.
The visit also attracted the presence of the Secretary to Benue State Government (SSG), Prof. Joseph Alakali, Head of Service, Dr. Moses Agbogbo Ode, Acting Executive Secretary of State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Sir James Iorpuu, and the Acting Chairman, Benue State Planning Commission, Dr . Jerome Andohol, as well as some heads of security agencies in Benue State who were members of the technical team.