States Fail To Access N45bn UBEC Grants

States Fail To Access N45bn UBEC Grants

The executive secretary of the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Dr. Hamid Bobboyi, has said many states have not accessed the N45.7 billion matching grant to them for the implementation of Universal Basic Education (UBE) between 2020 and 2023.

Bobboyi stated this yesterday when he received members of the House of Representatives Committee on Basic Education and Services at the commission on an oversight visit.
He also disclosed that only 16 states had accessed the 2023 matching grant, representing 41 per cent of the appropriated N51.6 billion.

According to him, the federal government appropriated N51.6 billion as a matching grant to states in 2023, explaining that only N21 billion was accessed by the 16 states as of June 30.
He listed the 16 states to include Benue, Borno, Cross River, Delta, Enugu, Jigawa, Kano, Kwara, Nasarawa Niger, Ondo, Osun, Rivers, Sokoto, Taraba and Zamfara.
“Of the N103.2 billion appropriated amount for 2023, being two percent of Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF), the sum of N55 billion was utilised.

“This being the total expenditure under UBE implementation, matching grant, educational imbalance, special education and monitoring and programmes 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 at June 30,” he said.
He further said that one of the challenges facing the commission was the inability of some state governments to access the UBE matching grant as and when it is due.

Bobboyi noted that the quest to deliver quality basic education and address the challenge of out-of-school children in Nigeria requires all stakeholders, including the National Assembly, to join forces.
He lamented that some state governments lacked political and commitment to basic education issues, saying this further exacerbated the menace of out-of-school children in the country.

The chairman, House Committee on Universal Basic Education and Services, Hon. Mark Bako Useni, on his part, described the about 20-year-old UBEC Act, as obsolete and inadequate to address the emerging challenges of basic education in Nigeria; hence the urgent need to amend the law.
Useni who is member representing Takum/Ussa/Donga Federal Constituency, revealed that already, the bill to that effect has passed first and second readings in the House and now at the committee stage.

He said, “The UBEC act has been in place for nearly 20 years. From the time the law came into force until today, we have passed through several stages of development, so one cannot hold on to one thing over the years.

“Like the issue of un-accessed funds, if we don’t amend the act, the challenge would continue to be there, but if the act is amended and there are measures to ensure that we overcome unaccessed funds, the primary and secondary education would serve our children better.
He said the oversight function was necessary to see how basic education has fared in the last year.
Useni said the committee needs to know the areas of intervention the commission would be required to enhance the quality of basic education in the country.

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