Thursday, July 18, 2024

Only 16 states accessed 2023 matching grant: UBEC

Mr Usani said the issue of unaccessed funds was something the committee was taking steps to overcome.

• July 10, 2024
Universal Basic Education Commission
Universal Basic Education Commission [Credit:UBEC]

The Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) has said only 16 states have accessed the 2023 matching grant, representing 41 per cent of the appropriated N51.6 billion.

The Executive Secretary of UBEC, Hamid Bobboyi, made this known during an oversight function of the House Committee on Basic Education and Services to the commission in Abuja on Wednesday.

Mr Bobboyi said that out of the N51.6 billion appropriated for matching grants in 2023, only N21 billion was accessed by the 16 states as of June 30.

The 16 states, he said, are Benue, Borno, Cross River, Delta, Enugu, Jigawa, Kano, Kwara, Nasarawa, Niger, Ondo, Osun, Rivers, Sokoto, Taraba and Zamfara.

“Out of the N103.2 billion appropriated amount for 2023, being two per cent of the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF), the sum of N55 billion was utilised.

“This is the total expenditure under UBE implementation, matching grants, educational imbalance, special education and monitoring programme funds as of June 30, 2024.

“Thus showing 54 per cent utilisation. For the 2023 matching grant disbursement status, the sum of N21 billion was accessed by 16 states out of N51.6 billion appropriated, representing 41 per cent as of June 30,” he said.

Also speaking, the Chairman of the committee, Mark Usani, said the oversight function was necessary to see how basic education has fared in the last year.

Mr Usani said the committee needed to know the areas of intervention the commission would require to enhance quality basic education in the country.

“In our drive towards ensuring every Nigerian child is back to school and able to learn, we have high expectations from UBEC over the year. If the federal government has not established UBEC, you can only imagine what will become of basic education in the country,” he said.

Mr Usani, however, said that the committee would review the UBEC Act so that basic education challenges and unaccessed funds would be addressed.

“The issue of unaccessed funds is something we are taking steps to overcome, and I want to assure you that by the time the process of amending the UBEC Act is underway, we will definitely overcome the challenge of unaccessed funds.

“The challenge of the unavailability of teachers is also beyond what we can achieve at this level. UBEC does not recruit teachers for LEA; it is the responsibility of states and local governments. What UBEC does is intervene to check the quality of teachers and make them up-to-date. We are going to engage state actors to make sure that we call attention to these serious problems,” he said.

“Nigerians know that this intervention agency must play a pivotal role in the education of our children, and everybody needs to know how far you have come.

“What are the challenges you are having? We need to ensure you do what you are meant to do. We must work very hard to change the tide of basic education,” he said.

(NAN)

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