States failed to access N73 bn basic education funds – UBEC

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The Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) has disclosed that a total of N73b UBE intervention funds provided by the federal government are yet to be accessed by state governments for the development of basic education across the country.

The Executive Secretary of the Commission, Hamid Bobboyi made this known in Abuja in his presentation to the members of House Committee on Basic Education and Services who were on an oversight visit to the Commission headquarters on the 2019 budget performance.

EduCeleb.com understands that basic education is primarily the responsibility of state governments but the Federal Government intervenes through the UBE intervention funds.

Based on provisions of Nigerian laws, 2 percent of the consolidate revenue of each year is divided equally among states for which each state is expected to provide counterpart funding.

Dr Bobboyi disclosed that Kwara State alone has over 7 billion unaccessed fund from 2014 to 2019.

Other states like Anambra had N4.2 billion, Enugu N4.3 billion, Abia N3.8 billion, and Plateau N3.1 billion among others.

He further explained that the figure of unaccessed fund was high due to the fact that 2019 matching grant was only due for access by state governments from 31st December, 2019.

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In his words, “Technically, the whole of 2019 was unaccessed because you cannot access fund between 31st December, and January 2020. It is an amount that usually accumulates up to the end of the year, before people begin to access it.”

Bobboyi added that only 10 states have lodged their 50 per cent counterpart which was a prerequisite for accessing the matching grant but were unable to access the cash because they had failed to submit an action plan detailing the projects to be executed to UBEC.

He singled out Anambra state which had paid its counterpart fund, yet refuses to forward an action plan to the Commission for the matching grant to be released to the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) for development of infrastructure in the state.

He insisted that there was no way the fund could be released without the necessary action plan.

He appealed to the members of the House Committee on Basic Education and Services to liaise with their state governors on the need to access the UBEC funds and utilise them effectively in the effort to have a functional and literate society.

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Vice Chairman, House Committee on Basic Education and Services, Usman Zanah, who led the delegation, said the visit was one of the constitutional mandates of the National Assembly to play oversight role on Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government in order to ensure accountability, transparency and sustainability of good governance in the country.

He commended the UBEC boss for introducing various innovations and effectiveness in the disbursement of the matching grant for the overall development of education in the country.

Zanah, expressed the commitment of the National Assembly within the confines of law to assist the Commission in actualising its mandate for the overall benefit of the citizenry.

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