The acting Executive Secretary, UBEC, Professor Bala Zakari, has revealed that the state governors have failed to access the sum of N46.2n earmarked for basic education by the Universal Basic Education Commission.
This he made known during the presentation of the Universal Basic Education fund implementation report on Wednesday in Abuja.
The grants continue to lie fallow despite Nigeria being one of the countries with the highest number of out-of-school children in the world. The figure of N46.2bn was obtained from the report as presented by Zakari.
Findings revealed that so far, no allocations had been made to the affected states for the year 2023.
Data revealed that a total sum of N162, 284, 117,592 was allocated to the states as UBE grants between 2019 and 2022. It was also revealed that N116,072.964,294.33 was accessed.
The report stated that, “The sum of N46,211,153,298.63 is the total of un-accessed UBE matching grants as of April 30, 2023, by the 36 states and the FCT.
“Between 2019 and 2022, the sum of N162,284,117,592 was allocated to the states being UBE grants. As of April 30, 2023, the sum of N116,072,964,294.33 was accessed by 36 states and the FCT, Abuja, representing 71.52 per cent as of April 30, 2023.
“As at the time of reporting, only 11 states accessed the 2022 matching grant fund.”
Speaking on the levels of UBE matching grants accessed by states, he said in 2019, 35 states and FCT accessed the 2019 allocation, with one state – Anambra yet to access the grant as of April 30, 2023.
On the 2020 matching grant, he said, “30 states and the FCT have accessed matching grants. Six states namely; Abia, Adamawa,
Anambra, Ebony, Kwara and Ogun are yet to access the 2020 UBE matching grant as of 30th 2023.
“In 2022 matching grants, 11 states namely; Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Ekiti, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Nasarawa, Ondo, Taraba and Zamfara have accessed the 2021 UBE matching grant. 25 states and FCT are yet to access the 2022 UBE matching grant as of April 30, 2023.
In his comments, the chairman, Senate Committee on Basic and Secondary Education, Senator Ibrahim Gaidam, said it was important to ensure that money released by the government is used for the purpose it was released.
Gaidam stressed the need for state governors to key into its UBEC projects by accessing its fund in order to shore up the nation’s basic education sector.