From Uche Usim, Abuja
Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, on Friday, disclosed that the Federal Government targets to grow Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to $12 trillion by 2050, with an average real GDP growth rate of 7% and an end period per capita income of $33,000 per annum.
This, she said, is contained in Nigeria’s development agenda (Agenda 2050) currently being finalized for launch by her Ministry.
The Minister stated this in her keynote address at the launch of the National Plan on Financing Safe Schools-2023-2026.
According to her, the National Plan focuses on achieving inclusive growth through the implementation of the long-term economic transformation blueprint aimed at mitigating current developmental challenges and attaining the upper middle-income country status.
“These lofty targets can only be actualized if all critical stakeholders collaboratively create safer teaching and learning environments across Nigeria via critical intervention investments as captured in the validated costed plans of action”, she stated.
On the National Plan, she said it will be implemented between 2023-2026, with a total investment size of N144.8 billion.
“The Plan proposes N32.58 billion in 2023, N36.98 billion in 2024, N37.15 billion in 2025, and N38.03 billion in 2026, respectively. To this end, the Federal Government has made a provision of N15 billion in the 2023 Budget, leaving a funding gap of N13.6 billion in 2023, expected to be filled by State Governments, Agencies, the private sector, and development partners interested in supporting Nigeria”, she revealed.
Mrs Ahmed recalled that at the Fourth International Conference on the Safe Schools Declaration held in October 2021, the Ministry pledged to facilitate adequate funding in protecting education from attacks.
“These commitments led to the development of the National Plan. The Plan which is a four-year investment plan was developed through rigorous consultative strategic engagements with all relevant critical stakeholders in the Education and Security sectors at national and sub-national levels such as the Federal Ministry of Education; Nigeria Police Force; Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC); Department of State Security (DSS); Defense Headquarters (Army, Navy and Air Force). Inputs from the 36 States and Federal Capital Territory Ministries of Education, Finance and Budget, development partners; donor agencies and civil society organizations.
She noted that the data-driven National Plan on Financing Safe Schools, amongst others, intends to achieve measurable outcomes such as a reduction in the number of out-of-school children and improve Nigeria’s rating in Human Capital Index in the long run.
In his goodwill message, the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, represented by Rear Admiral Chibuike Azike said that the National Plan will develop a collaborative programme to protect all parts of the society; from local to federal government.
“We’ll keep synergising with military and paramilitary forces and civilians to keep schools safe”, he said.
Also in his goodwill message, the Inspector General of Police, Alkali Baba Usman noted that the Chibok Girls saga opened the public eyes to insecurity of schools as the menace soon spread to other schools.
“We need to keep schools safe to produce future leaders. Both the structure, standard, discipline, curriculum, teachers, extra curricular activities etc must be protected.
He called for collaboration and synergy among all stakeholders as the task of safeguarding schools cannot be left to school management and parents.
In his speech, Mr Goodluck Nana Opia, Minister of State, Education, said there was a need to develop state plan to address continuity of learning if schools are shut down due to insecurity.