The Universal Basic Education (UBE) is a nine-year education every Nigerian child is meant to compulsorily have for free. It includes six years of primary school education and three years of Junior Secondary School education.
States and local governments are the ones in charge of basic education as emphasised in the Compulsory, Free Universal Basic Education Act of 2004.
Whereas, the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) is primarily tasked with providing intervention in basic education on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
To fund basic education, government recognised that states, through the State Universal Basic Education Boards (SUBEBs) and the local governments through the Local Government Education Authorities (LGEAs) could not do it alone.
Therefore, UBE intervention funds are approved annually by the government to improve access and quality of basic education in the country.
In this post, EduCeleb.com presents you all you need to know about how the funds get shared.
Source of UBE intervention funds
The UBE Intervention funds are based on a statutory transfer of 2% of the Consolidate Revenue Fund for the year before that.
States are expected to provide “matching grant” – an equal amount of the money – as counterpart funds to be able to access the funds. UBEC is obliged to disburse the funds to states if it had confirmed that the state government has the counterpart funds in its designated account.
The intervention fund is thus the main tool of the Federal government to influence spending on basic education at other arms of government.
However, due to a various reasons, many states have stopped providing their matching funds. This has led to the forfeiture of the intervention funding over the years.
There is also the condition that states use previous funds well. The Act states that UBEC “shall not disburse such grant until it is satisfied that the earlier disbursements have been applied” based on the law provisions.
Sharing formula for UBE intervention funds
After the Federal Executive Council had approved a particular sum as the UBEC intervention funds for a year based on the above, states are expected to make available the matching grant.
Without that, the money would not be released. If availability of the counterpart fund is confirmed by UBEC, the state SUBEB concerned along with the federal agency will have it shared as follows.
50% on Matching Grants Fund
50% of the Matching Grants Fund is to be expended on the provision of infrastructure such as classrooms, furniture, toilets, workshops, libraries, equipment, etc.;
14% on Educational Imbalance
14% is devoted as Educational Imbalance Fund for maintaining equity and inclusiveness and eliminating all forms of disparities and disadvantages;
15% on Instructional Materials
15% of it is designated the Instructional Materials Fund. This is for the provision of textbooks in the core subjects and reading materials;
10% on Teacher Professional Development
10% is tagged the Teacher Professional Development Fund for the training of the serving teachers and education managers on various aspects of school activities;
5% on state’s good performance
5% is known as the Good Performance Fund to encourage states doing well in the implementation of the UBE program;
2% on Special Education
2% is tagged the Special Education Fund for students with special needs;
2% on UBE Monitoring
2% is the UBE Monitoring Fund; and
2% on UBE Implementation
2% is the UBE Implementation Fund.
The control lies more with states
State governments largely have influence on the funds are spent. As long as states satisfy the minimum requirements of having the matching grant, they get the money. In reality, they would always determine how they would spend on each of funds highlighted.
Other sources of basic education funding
Aside the UBE intervention funds, states and local governments spend on basic education on their own too. This is variously achieved through allocations from a statutory transfer of the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC).
The revenue for each month is shared among the three arms of government with the Federal taking 52.68%, states having 26.72% while local governments have 20.60%.
The FAAC monthly meeting is what most states depend on to cover major expenses in delivering services to citizens. Click here to read more about ways basic education is funded in Nigeria here.