20 States And FCT Yet To Access Over N45.7bn UBE Grant – UBEC Says


BY NGOZI NWANKWO, ABUJA – The Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), has revealed that over N45.7 billion matching grant to state governments for the implementation of Universal Basic Education (UBE), between 2020 and 2023 has not been accessed by most of the states.

The Executive Secretary of UBEC, Dr. Hamid Bobboyi, who made this known on Wednesday, July 10, 2024 when he received members of the House of Representatives Committee on Basic Education and Services that were on oversight visit to the Commission in Abuja, said only 16 states have so far accessed the 2023 matching grant, representing 41 per cent of the appropriated N51.6 billion.

Bobboyi said that N51.6 billion was appropriated by the Federal Government as matching grant to sates in 2023, saying that only N21 billion was accessed by the 16 states as at June 30, 2024.

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.

According to Bobboyi; “Out of N103.2 billion appropriated for 2023, being two per cent of the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF), the sum of N55 billion was utilised. This is being total expenditure under UBE implementation, matching grant, educational imbalance, special education and monitoring and programmes funds as at 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.

The UBEC Executive Secretary said one of the challenges being faced by the Commission was the inability of some state governments to access UBE matching grant as and when due, adding that the quest to deliver quality basic education as well as address the challenge of out-of-school children in Nigeria, required all stakeholders including the National Assembly to join forces to achieve.

Bobboyi lamented that some state governments lacked political will and commitment to basic education issues, saying this further exacerbated the menace of out-of-school children in the country.

In his remarks, the chairman, House Committee on Universal Basic Education and Services, Hon. Mark Bako Useni, described the about 20-year-old UBEC Act, as obsolete and inadequate to address the emerging challenges of basic education in Nigeria, stressing that there was the urgent need for amendment of the law.

Useni, who is member representing Takum/Ussa/Donga Federal Constituency, said that the bill to that effect has passed first and second readings in the House and now at the committee stage.

He further said; “UBEC Act has been in place for nearly 20 years. From the time the law came into force till today, we have passed through several stages of developments; 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 make sure that we overcome unaccessed funds, the primary and secondary education would serve our children better.

The committee chairman said the oversight function was necessary to see how basic education has fared in the last one year, adding that the committee needs to know the areas of interventions the commission required to enhance quality basic education in the country.

Useni also said; “In our drive toward ensuring every Nigerian child is back to school and able to learn, we have high expectations from UBEC over the years.

“If the federal government had not established UBEC, you can only imagine what will become of basic education in the country. The challenge of unavailability of teachers also is beyond what we can achieve at this level.

“UBEC does not recruit teachers for LEA, it is the responsibility of states and local governments,” he said.

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