World Bulletin / News Desk
Nigeria's business community on Wednesday pledged $10 million for Safe Schools, a private sector initiative designed to make schools safer, particularly in the restive northeastern region.
"There is a desperate need to assure Nigerians that children are safe to go to school and as a result the Nigerian business community has earmarked $10 million with a pilot scheme of 500 schools," former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown told reporters at a briefing drawing together top local business people.
He said the Safe Schools initiative "wants parents and teachers to come up with what safety measures that should involve the government too."
The announcement was made on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum on Africa holding in capital city Abuja.
Brown is attending the three-day event, which opened Wednesday, in his capacity as the United Nations envoy on education.
Several world leaders and hundreds of top business executives, entrepreneurs and other influential figures will be attending the global economic forum.
Discussions will focus on innovative structural reforms and investments with a view to generating employment and stimulating economic growth in Africa.
Other issues on the agenda will include skills creation and the upgrade of public services.
A host of fresh development initiatives are expected to be unveiled at the forum.
The Safe Schools donation came three weeks after Nigeria's rebel group Boko Haram had abducted scores of schoolgirls from their dormitory in Chibok, a community in the restive northern state of Borno.
Brown condemned the abduction of the schoolgirls.
He said that the British and American governments have assured him that they "will provide teams to locate the abducted students in the coming days."
Nigerian authorities announced earlier on Wednesday that Britain and China had pledged to deploy satellite imaging and tracking technologies to help the country in its search for the schoolgirls.
The government accepted on Tuesday an offer from U.S. President Barack Obama to deploy U.S. security personnel and assets inside Nigeria with the ostensible aim of rescuing the girls.Güncelleme Tarihi: 08 Mayıs 2014, 10:02