The federal government has revealed that 24 states have so far accessed the Universal Basic Education Fund (UBEC) in full, leaving out twelve others and the Federal Capital Territory.
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Sonny Echono, disclosed this at a one-day meeting to strengthen partnership within the three tiers of government on the Sustainable Development Goals 4 (SDGs-4) in Abuja on Thursday.
Mr Echono urged other states and the FCT that were yet to access the funds to do so for the development of the educational sector in the country.
“The federal government has addressed the challenges for accessing the Universal Basic Education Fund using the Paris loan refund.
“I can report that at least 24 states have been able to do this; they have access their funds in full.
“We are therefore encouraging the other remaining states to ensure that they do the needful by submitting the relevant plans because we don’t want you to throw money at problems,” he said.
He said in recognition of the key role of education to deliver on SDG4, the Education for Change, Ministerial Strategic Plan (MSP) was poised for social, economic, scientific and technological development.
He noted that the MSP was in line with the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) which touches among other things: out-of-school children, youth and literacy, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics among others.
He added that the Federal Ministry of Education has however aligned the MSP to SDG4 to provide inclusive and qualitative education for Nigerian children.
“During the last two decades, Nigeria has made noticeable achievements in making education available for all, particularly children.
“In a world where technology is moving rapidly and where competiveness requires a diversified and highly trained workforce, it becomes imperative to pay greater attention to secondary education,“he said.
He, however, urged states to ensure that all SDG4 targets were aligned to the State Strategic Plan (SSP) for adequate implementation and indicators for ease of data collection.
Also speaking, the Director, Educational Planning, Research and Development, Christianah Ogbede, said SDG4 seeks to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education.Mrs Ogbede, while underscoring the role of education in achieving the SDGs, said the ministry immediately swung into action in February 2016 by launching the SDGs and unveiling the Goal4.
She called for the engagement of all key players in an intensive and robust deliberation that would lead to viable collaborative efforts to achieve the SDG4.
The director added that the collaborations would ensure that all levels of governance were impacted by the various interventions geared towards achieving the SDGs4.