Ali Ndume, The Chairman, Senate Committee on Army, and the senator representing Borno south declared on Wednesday that the continuing incidents of student abduction by bandits and terrorists will not have an impact on school enrollment in the northern part of the country.
Many Nigerians had expressed their fears that the disturbing development was a threat to education in that part of the country.
But the senator, who spoke with journalists shortly after his bill on the establishment of the Federal College of Education, Gwoza, was passed during Senate plenary on Wednesday, said necessary measures were being put in place to tackle insecurity in the country.
He said, “Nigerians are known to be resilient in facing challenges like this. I am very sure that it will come to pass particularly now that the government has taken charge of issues of insecurity.
“Our people know the value of education and they will not because of insurgency or banditry abandon it for any reason.
“We pray that this will come to an end and we urge the government to stand up to the occasion and look at what happened to the safe school initiative which also had the support of international organisations.
“A huge sums of money was earmarked for it so the government should look into it to ensure that our schools are safe.”
He assured Nigerians that his committee, as well as those in charge of Defence, Navy, Air force, and the Police, would ensure the judicious utilisation of the N895bn supplementary appropriation meant to tackle insecurity and health-related issues in Nigeria.
He said, “Never in the history of the Nigerian Military that a budget of N700bn will 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 N30bn. 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 N895bn 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, 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 will ensure that 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 to where it should go.
“With that, we are ready to face the challenges confronting us as a country.”