The Niger State government on Thursday approved N86 million for the quarantine, feeding and repatriation of almajiri pupils to their various states of origin.
The state Commissioner for Education, Hannatu Salihu, said this at a news conference in Minna.
She said the approval was given during the weekly Executive Council meeting.
Ms Salihu said that it was in line with the Northern Governors Forum’s decision that all state governments should return almajiri pupils to their various states as parts of measures to contain the spread of Coronavirus.
She said that 86 almajiri pupils were returned and reunited with their parents in the first phase.
The commissioner added that 557 almajiri pupils out of 708 were taken back to their states during the second phase of repatriation.
She said that 139 of them from the state were reunited with their families through the Niger State Child Rights Protection Agency, while 12 were foreigners and two could not identify their states of origin.
On the reopening of schools in the state, the commissioner said the ministry held two critical stakeholders meetings to review COVID-19 responses and guideline implementation.
She said that the meetings were to come up with recommendations in line with the Presidential Task Force and Federal Ministry of Education guidelines on COVID-19 on the reopening of schools.
“If schools must be reopened, we must first consider the health of the students and the teachers.
“For now, we cannot give a tentative date for reopening of schools until all the recommendations are put in place,” she said.
Ms Salihu said the state government was doing its best to ensure the protection of the lives of children.
Also, the state’s Commissioner for Justice, Danmalam Nasara, said that the council approved two bills which included, the bill for creation of Niger State Traffic Management Agency and the bill to amend Child Rights Law, 2010.
Mr Nasara said the bills were to enforce traffic rules and regulations and to give the Child Rights Protection Agency a legal backing to operate in protecting the rights of children.
He added that the two bills would be sent to the legislature for consideration and passage.