28 December 2012

Nigeria: 'Schools Decongestion Gulped N1.5 Billion in 2012'

The Federal Capital territory Administration (FCTA) says it spent the sum of N1.550 billion on decongestion of schools in the territory this year.

Secretary, FCT Education Secretariat, Mallam Kabir Usman, who disclosed this at an end of year briefing with journalists, said the money was spent on the provision of additional classrooms for basic and post basic education as well as laboratories, administrative blocks, access roads and landscaping, among other things.

Usman who was speaking on the challenges facing the secretariat, however said while the amount seemed substantial, it was not enough for the requirements in that area.

"We must establish a robust Public Private Partnership (PPP) and an effective collaboration with partners and other critical stakeholders. We are currently studying a set of proposals and as soon as we get the necessary approvals, we will begin implementation," he said, adding that revenue generating measures of the secretariat would however not increase the financial burden on parents.

The secretary further listed poor results at terminal examinations as one of the major challenges facing the education sector but said the administration has taken measures, such as employment of more teachers in relevant subject areas, which has already paid off, by an improvement in the 2012 results.

On the Abuja University of Technology, Abaji (AUTA), which take-off date could not be met this year, the secretary said everything, from classrooms, laboratories, staff quarters and administrative blocks had been completed but that there were yet to be students hostels and the FCT administration was not willing to open the university when it did not have accommodation in place for students.

He said the administration was currently in talks with an Irish company to reach an agreement for the building of a befitting students' village through Public Private Partnership (PPP), which students would be charged reasonable amounts for.

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