The Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nawajiuba, has said the Federal Government stopped negotiations with bandits for the release of kidnapped students because it noticed rising cases of banditry each time bandits were paid. The minister said this yesterday at a briefing after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa. Nwajiuba said: “We are constrained to stop negotiations with bandits because we’ve seen that every time they get any payment, it leads to further escalation, because they reequip and they rearm and then they go back.”
According to him, the security agencies are working to ensure the rescue of all students in captivity, adding, however, that they are being careful to avoid collateral damage in their approach. Responding to the viral videos of a student being tortured by bandits, Nwajiuba said: “We’ve seen the videos you alluded to, and while we cannot attest to their veracity with how authentic there is still concerning, and we are in touch with the military authorities.
They are in continuous pursuit of them.” On the measures being put in place to protect students from kidnappers, the minister said the government was serious about securing the country, noting that out of the 25,000 secondary schools in the country, only 120 of them belong to the Federal Government.
“If you go to Sokoto State, for instance, we’ve done buzzers we’ve done alarm systems, we’ve done perimeter monitoring, we’ve done community engagement platforms, we’ve done the SBMC procedures, which we put on school management bus and then attach security compliance officers alongside them, we are engaging everyone,” he said. The minister also said he presented a memo for the award of contracts for building two blocks of social science complexes at the Adamawa State University in Mubi for N1,103,000,000, which was a TETFUND allocation that emerged from the year 2017 through 2021.”
The Minister of Power, Sale Mamman, said the council approved contracts for the construction of 2 by 60 MVA 132 33 substation at Gagarawa, Jigawa State, in favour of Messrs Power Control and Appliances Limited in the sum of N154,212,396.05, and the contract for the engineering, procurement and construction of 2 by 30 MVA 132 33 substation at Bonny, Ibom, Akwa Ibom State in favour of Messrs YEMEC West Africa Limited in the sum of US$6.2m offshore plus N1.8 billion onshore. Speaking on behalf of the Minister of Transportation, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said the council considered two memos. He said “The first one has to do with the Kano- Jibia rail and then the other one has to do with the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri route. The second approved by the Council was for the award of the $11,174,759,721.74 contract for the Lagos-Calabar coastal standard gauge rail.”