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Buhari Must Punish Those Responsible For Missing $30m Safe School Fund – SERAP

President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project has come out to beg Muhammadu Buhari to probe the missing $30m safe school fund.

This was recently revealed in a letter signed by SERAP Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, and Nigerians have been reacting.

According to him, Buhari should direct the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN, and appropriate anti-corruption agencies to investigate allegations that $30m safe school fund is missing, mismanaged or diverted.

He added that it is the duty of the Federal Government to bring justice to anyone suspected to be involved, as well as recover any missing money

His words, “Rather than pushing to raise more funds for the Safe School Initiative programme, your government should prioritise and ensure a thorough, transparent and effective investigation into the spending of the $30m initially budgeted for the protection of schools, prevention of attacks, and continued education of students.”

“SERAP will also consider asking Mr Brown to use his influence to insist on transparency and accountability in the spending of the $30m safe school fund before rushing to engage donors to commit to additional funding of the Safe School Initiative programme.”

“SERAP also urges you to ask Mr Brown to put pressure on the 36 state governors to accept voluntary scrutiny by Nigerians and civil society regarding the spending of any funds spearheaded and raised by him to improve safety and security in Nigerian schools.”

“Despite the $30m safe school fund meant to ensure safety and security in 500 schools, and to provide a school environment free of fear, no school has been protected, as illustrated by the recent spate of abductions and killings of students in several parts of the country.”

“Allegations of corruption in the spending of the $30m safe school fund undermine the safety and security of Nigerian children in schools, and deny access of poor children to quality education in a safe environment because the money that the government should be spending to provide safe schools for Nigerian children is squandered or stolen.”

“The Nigerian government has a legal obligation to protect Nigerian children from all forms of violence and other human rights abuses including abductions, killings, and to prevent and combat corruption in the spending of funds budgeted to improve safety and security in schools.”

“Attacks on students, teachers and their families violate constitutional and international human rights law, and force many families to keep their children home. This aggravates existing disparities in access to education, further marginalizing the poor.”

“The government’s apparent failure to ensure transparency and accountability in the spending of the $30m safe school fund is contrary to the Nigerian Constitution 1999 [as amended], and violates Nigeria’s obligations under international law and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.”

“We would be grateful if the recommended measures are taken within 14 days of the receipt and/or publication of this letter. If we have not heard from you by then, SERAP shall take all appropriate legal actions to compel your government to comply with our request in the public interest.”

“According to our information, the Federal Government, state governors and security agencies together with foreign governments and UN agencies last week launched a plan in Abuja to finance safe schools in Nigeria.”


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