Maryam Abeeb, Abuja
The Victims Support Fund (VSF), says it has expended N303 million on construction of 24 educational facilities in three public schools in Gombe State.
Dr Sunday Ocheche, Director-General of the Fund, disclosed this during the formal hand-over of the projects to the Gombe State Government on Friday in Yelmantu/Deba.
The Fund constructed Ventilated Improved Latrines (VIP), toilets, administrative blocks, laboratories and computer rooms at Government Day Secondary School, Liji; Comprehensive Secondary School, Gombe and Anguwan Ganduje Primary School.
Other projects include construction of paremetre fence, provision of solar motorised boreholes and upgrade of water reticulation system in the benefitting schools.
The projects were executed at Gombe, Funakaye and Yemaltu/Deba Local Government Areas of the state.
Ocheche noted that the intervention in Gombe State was to assist the government overcome challenges arising from the influx of persons displaced by the insurgency in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States.
“Gombe State is not directly affected by the insurgency like Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, but it is facing the consequences as a result of the massive influx of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) from the region.
“VSF intervention also focuses on health through the sponsorship of identified IDPs on referral to tertiary health institutions in the region,” he said.
The director called on the people to protect educational facilities and other basic amenities provided in their communities for sustainable social and economic development of the state.
In a remark, Lt.-Gen. Theouphilus Danjuma (Rtd), Chairman of the fund, called for investment in girl-child education in the state, to achieve sustainable development in the sector.
Danjuma, represented by Alkasim Abdulkadir, commended the state government for the feat achieved in reducing the number of out-of-school children by about 70 per cent.
“The population of out-of-school children in Nigeria is about 13 million, Gombe State Government has done well by reducing its number by 70 per cent,” he said.
The state deputy governor, Dr Manessah Jatau, commended the gesture, adding that it would go a long way to address humanitarian challenges occasioned by the influx of displaced person from neighbouring states.
Jatau noted that social amenities in the state were being overstretched in view of the high population which recorded significant rise due to the insurgency in the northeast.
On his part, Dr Habu Dahiru, the state’s Commissioner for Education, said the projects were executed in the selected schools based on needs assessment conducted by the Fund.
The need assessment was sequel to the proposal submitted to the VSF by the Ministry of Education and state’s Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) for intervention.
Dahiru urged VSF to support Gombe towards enhancing girl-child education in the state.