By Ngozi Nwankwo
The Universal Basic Education Commission,UBEC, has said that over N46,2 billion matching grants for the development of public primary and junior secondary schools has remained un-accessed by some state governments.
The acting Executive Secretary of UBEC, Professor Bala Zakari, stated this during an oversight visit to the Commission by the Senate Committee on Basic and Secondary Education in Abuja on Wednesday.
Presenting the 2022 capital budget implementation report, Zakari said a total sum of N162, 284, 117,592 was allocated to the states as UBE grants between 2019 and 2022 while N116,072,964,294.33 was accessed by 36 states and FCT.
He said, “The sum of N46,211,153,298.63 is the total of un-accessed UBE matching grants as at 30th April, 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 at 30th April 2023, the sum of N116,072,964,294.33 was accessed by 36 states and the FCT, Abuja, representing 71.52 percent as at 30th April, 2023.
“As at the time of reporting, only 11 states accessed the 2022 matching grant fund.”
Speaking on the levels of UBE matching grant accessed by states, he said in 2019, 35 states and FCT accessed 2019 allocation, with one state – Anambra yet to access the grant as of 30th April, 2023.
On the 2020 matching grant, he said,” 30 states and FCT have accessed matching grants. Six states namely; Abia, Adamawa, Anambra, Ebonyi, Kwara and Ogun are yet to access 2020 UBE matching grant as at 30th 2023.
“29 states have accessed 2022 matching grant projects, seven states and FCT are yet to access 2022 UBE matching grant AST on 30th April 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. Twenty five states and FCT are yet to accessed 2022 UBE matching grant as at 30th April, 2023
Earlier, 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, who was represented by the vice chairman of the Committee, Senator Akon Eyakenyi, said the visit was to also confirm the implementation of the 2022 budget of the commission and proposal for 2023.
The committee stressed the need for state governors to key into its UBEC projects by accessing its funds in order to shore up the nation’s basic education sector.