By Adejumo Kabir
Perhaps explaining the rot in the nation’s education system, an official data has shown that 24 of 36 states in the country failed to access own their portion of the over N47 billion basic education grants between 2015 – 2017.
While the disbursement of 2018 has not started, the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) report titled: “Unaccessed Matching Grant” shows that as at September 2018, 24 states had not accessed the grant that was released in April 2018.
The 24 states are: Abia, Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Cross River, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Enugu, Imo, Ogun, Ondo, Kwara, Kano, Kaduna, Katsina, Nasarawa, Niger, Plateau, Yobe and Zamfara. The unaccesed funds amount to about N29.5 billion.
According to the report, in April 2018, UBEC began disbursement to the states including the Federal Capital Territory at approximately N1.3 billion each.
However, only 13 states including the Federation Capital Territory have accessed the grant. The states that accessed the grant are: Borno, Lagos, Cross River, Delta, Kogi, Kebbi, Jigawa, Osun, Oyo, Rivers, Taraba, Sokoto and FCT.
UBEC is an intervention and regulatory agency saddled with the task of promoting uniform, qualitative and functional basic education, as well as, coordinating all aspects of Universal Basic Education (UBE) programme implementation. This was introduced in 1999 by the Federal Government as a reform programme to ensure quality of basic education throughout the country from primary to secondary education.
The fund constitutes 50 per cent of the gross revenue realised by UBEC in a preceding year meant to be disbursed to states in accordance with a sharing formula approved by the Federal Executive Council.
States are expected to provide an equal amount of the money as counterpart funds to be able to access the funds.
Despite this, Nigeria is faced with pathetic learning facilities across all states which makes mockery of its desire to improve the education sector
Reacting to this, an economist at the Lagos State University, Abiola Ayoola, lamented the situation in an interview with this medium.
“It pains that our leaders don’t take education serious. It is time for elections and what you see them talk about is how to win,” he said.
“I think the Federal Government itself needs to pressurise states to access that grant. It is sad to hear that up till date, the failure of states Government to access necessary funds available still make our children suffer.”
Source: PREMIUM TIMES