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Niger Assembly faults over N1bn spent on school renovation exercise

By Ibe Wada

The Niger State House of Assembly has faulted ongoing school renovation programme embarked upon by the state executive which was said to have gulped over N1 billion.

It said that aim of the programme was to give schools in the state proper facelift after they were destroyed by rainstorms and other natural disasters, but months after funds were approved, less than seven schools have been fully renovated by the state ministry of education.

The lawmakers disclosed that over N840 billion was allocated to education sector in 2019 and that only 7 percent of the funds were already spent on school renovation in the state.

Expressing the House displeasure over the project, Chairman of the House Committee on Education, Science, and Technology, Suleiman Gambo, lamented that the learning institutions had suffered infrastructure setbacks and that renovation was necessary to bring improvement.

Gambo, who spoke on the floor of the house yesterday after accessing work done by the ministry, disclosed that three of the projects listed for renovation last year were yet to be completed.

Gambo hinted that the money was spent by the state government to renovate nine schools under the Whole School Development Approach, said three out of those schools were yet to be completed.
The house chairman added that there were  inadequate furniture for teachers and pupils as about 70 percent of pupils in primary schools were sitting on bare floors, reiterated that some schools are yet to get a grip of government touch
” The schools not renovated to include; Government Day Science College, Baro, Government Girls Secondary School, Tegina and Mu’azu Ibrahim Commercial Secondary School, Kontagora”.

Reacting to the committee report, Speaker of the House, Abdullahi Wuse, recommended that the ministry and the state SUBEB should be engaged to ensure development of the education sector, just as he urged proper monitoring while carrying out rehabilitation of schools especially in rural areas to reduce cost.

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