Reps to probe N210bn alternative school programme, other funds

THE House of Representatives said it would investigate over N210 billion disbursed by former President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration for the Alternative School Programme.

The lawmakers will also probe the funding for the Better Education Service Delivery for All, At-Risk-Children Programme, and Interventions Programme for Out-of-School Children from 2016 to date.

This follows the adoption of a motion moved by Tijani Ismail Kayode, a representative from Kwara state, at plenary on Tuesday, December 19.

In his lead debate, Kayode said that in October 2019, the Ministry of Education confirmed that the Federal Government committed N10 billion to enrol two million children in school annually and subsequently enrol 10.2 million within five years.

He also said on January 31, 2022, the Federal Government adopted the Presidential Committee on Alternate Education report and renewed its commitment to provide educational opportunities for over 10 million out-of-school children through the Alternate School Programme under the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and over N200 billion was allocated for the initiative.

The lawmaker noted that a similar intervention by the World Bank worth $750 million was accessed and utilised within the last four years through Better Education Service Delivery for All (BESDA) to enrol out-of-school children in school in Nigeria.

He observed that in 2021, the Federal government introduced the At-Risk Children Programme (ARC-P), requiring hundreds of billions of naira in expenditure.






     

     

    Further in his debate, he “regretted that despite the Federal government’s efforts and the release of funds for the programme’s execution, the number of out-of-school children in Nigeria continues to increase rapidly.

    He expressed worry that “the misuse of Alternate School Programme funds to reduce out-of-school children in Nigeria has negatively impacted these schemes, leaving many children unschooled.”

    In October, the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Beta Edu, said the government was probing intervention schemes under the ministry, citing corruption concerns.

    The ICIR reported that Buhari’s several social intervention schemes failed to lift many Nigerians out of poverty despite millions pumped into the scheme.

     

     

    Harrison Edeh is a journalist with the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, always determined to drive advocacy for good governance through holding public officials and businesses accountable.

    Join the ICIR WhatsApp channel for in-depth reports on the economy, politics and governance, and investigative reports.

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