‘Some Niger schools have not seen paints in 40 years’ –Gov

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Kayode Oyero

Niger State Governor, Abubakar Bello, has said that some schools in the state have not been painted in the last 40 years.

He said the state has about 60 government schools spread across the 25 local government areas of the state but about 50 of the schools have no fence.

Niger State Governor, Sanni Bello

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The governor stated this on Friday at the Government House in Minna, the state capital, while addressing journalists on progress made to secure the release of abducted students and members of staff of Government Science College, Kagara.

Many Nigerians had voiced out disappointment at the level of dilapidation of structures in the school in Kagara when photos of the classrooms and hostels in the school surfaced online this week.

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Sight from Kagara school. Photo: @JaafarSJaafar/Twitter

Responding to a question on the deterioration of schools in the state, Bello said the situation did not start during his administration, adding that it will take 20 years to fix the infrastructure deficit in schools in the North Central state.

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He said, “Some of the schools have been built 40 years ago. Some of them have not seen paints in 40 years; no paints, no fence. 40 years ago there was a bit of peace, we do not have the security challenges we have now. But now, our schools must be fenced.

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“So, when we came in in 2015, we started the ‘Old School Approach’. Basically, what we did was started rebuilding schools. Each school cost close to about N350m or more to do. They were so bad that they didn’t have toilets, no fence, they had blown off roofs, staff living in very bad conditions. So, we decided instead of doing temporary measures, we should rebuild those schools.

Sight from Kagara school. Photo: @JaafarSJaafar/Twitter

“At the moment, we have rebuilt nine, we have fenced them, provided what is required of them. But we take this programmes on a zone by zone basis because Niger ia a very complex state. Niger is 76,000 km2, we have three zones, once we have resources, we don’t concentrate on one zone, and within each zone, we have eight or nine local governments.

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“So, out of the 60 schools spread within 25 local governments, in the first phase, we took three for each zone and we have completed nine schools in total.”

The governor also said the government was exploring kinetic and non-kinetic methods to secure the release of the abducted students and staff.

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