By; ALEX UANGBAOJE, Sokoto
As part of efforts in providing quality and less cost infrastructure in the education sector in Sokoto State, the state government said it has entered into partnership with the Nigerian Navy to building brick blocks classrooms in 86 communities in the state.
Speaking at the opening of a two-day Media Dialogue on ‘Educate-a-Child Cash Transfer Programme in Northern Nigeria’ on Tuesday in Sokoto, organized by The Child Rights Information Bureau of the Federal Ministry of Information and the United Nations Children Funds (UNICEF), Commissioner for Higher Education in the state, Dr. Muhammad Jabbi Kilgori, said the partnership will reduce the building of infrastructure by 50%.
“The Nigerian Navy was here by December, and they demonstrated affordable, very cheap, locally fabricated brick structures, that will reduce the cost of building infrastructure by 50%.
“And we engaging them very soon to begin to construct this in 86 Districts communities in the state. It will be a six class rooms schools that will be cited based on the demand and based on the opportunities to enroll more children in the schools.
“It is a very durable infrastructure where they source materials locally and equally engage local labour thereby creating employment for those that will be engaged in the process.
“The project is expected to takeoff within the next one month, already the funding is on ground, the design, the costing and the due process has been done.” He added.
This he also noted will help in accommodating the soaring increase of students benefitting from the ongoing Cash Transfer in the state that has tremendously increased enrollment of students, especially the Girl Child.
In his good will message, Officer in Charge, UNICEF Sokoto Field Office, Paul Mudzongo, said, UNICEF, is currently implementing the Cash Transfer programme in three states of Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara.
He said the Media Dialogue is an effort in prioritizing the importance of Cash transfer intervention in delivery of Basic Education programme.
“UNICEF facilitated the implementation of Cash Transfer Programme funded by DFID in Sokoto and Niger States under Girls’ Education Project phase 3 (GEP3). Currently the Cash Transfer Programme is being funded by Qatar Foundation and UNICEF under the Educate A Child (EAC) in Kebbi and Zamfara States.
“Cash Transfer Programme in education sector is as viable intervention for increasing school enrolment and attendance for children and improving the social protection for households. Therefore it remains a priority in UNICEF
programming with Government in Nigeria.
“It is encouraging to have seen that Sokoto and Niger States have scaled up the implementation of the Cash transfer after exit of funding by UNICEF/DID, though technical support is still being provided.” Paul noted.
He commend the Governments of Sokoto and Niger States for their commitment, adding, “i urge the two States to maintain the tempo considering the challenges of access and quality which require us to make great differences.
“I also call on Kebbi and Zamfara States to commence initiating sustainability plan while implementing the Cash transfer programme, just like Sokoto and Niger did. I would like to use this opportunity to appreciate the technical support being provided by experts from Economic Policy Research Institute (EPRI), Cape Town, South Africa in the design and implementation of the Cash transfer programme.