Include The ‘Street Children’ In Budgetary Allocation, Lest They Become Time Bomb – Borno Stakeholders Warn Zulum

By Gbenga Akingbule 

Stakeholders at the Town Hall Meeting to prepare Borno State 2022 Financial Appropriation have on Thursday advise the government to make adequate budgetary allocations that will ensure underage children are taking-off the streets and giving quranic and western education , lest they become  time bomb .

The Town Hall meeting which is the third in it series organised by the Ministry of Finace , Budget and Economic Planning where the commissioner , Hon Adamu Lawan said the 2022 budget will be prepared with ” total collaboration of our various communities demand and inline with our 25 years development plan and 10 years strategic master plan framework .” 

The stakeholders also requested the government to prioritize vocational training for the many jobless teenagers and youths roaming the streets of towns and villages in the state.  

This was part of the submissions of the statkeholds drawn  from various segments on the society in Borno State which include Politicians, Religious bodies, Traditional Rulers, Labour Union , Women Group , Nigeria Union Of Journalists (NUJ)and People Living With Disabilities ( PLWD) who converged at Multipurpose  Hall of the  State Government House .

A retired Permanent Secretary in the state Civill Service, Alhaji Zanna Mahdi who spoke at the occasion stated that the government must act fast to make budgetary provisions to accommodate the needs of many street children with a view of preventing them from any antisocial vices. 

Mahdi noted that many Street children who  were  roaming the streets since the advent of Boko Haram in 2009  are now teenagers without  jobs ” neither do they have Quranic nor Western education .”

”  These children were between 5 ,6 and 7 years where the insurgency began but they  are all grown up now and idle. The state government must make  financial apropriation that will capture these children before they become time bomb . 

“The government must identify these children in all local government areas, give them quranic and western education and also engage them in skills acquisition ” Mahdi said  

Mahdi  added  that ” most of these children can  be easily identified in many Internal Displaced Persons  (IDPs) Camps while some are halking on the streets. ” 

Another speaker at the occasion, The District Head of Dusuman Community  Alhaji  Abba Kyari who represented other communities in the state stressed  the need for  the government to prioritize  education of the  Street children.  

” If street children are left unattended, it may portend serious security problems to the society in the future. ” Kyari said adding  that ” the communities noted the abysmal low enrollment of children in schools ” 

Borno State Governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum  represented at the occasion by the Chief of Staff, Prof Isa Marte Hussaini  assured it will to implement inputs made by stakeholders towards the preparation of the  2022 budget.  

The government also promised to prioritize the needs of the people , stating that education, health and job creation will be given top priority. 

” if you look at the budget of last year and the year before , you  will find out that Education and Health received the lion share.  I hope and pray same thing will be applied for 2022 buget . 

“Other critical areas are job creation and wealth creation, because if we have an idle youth, youths that are not employed, they are panacea for distruction.  ”  Prof  Hussaini  said .

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