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Edo lawmakers, executive to resolve UBE rift soon

By Gabriel Enogholase
BENIN—THE lingering crisis between the executive and the legislative arms of the Edo State government over the constitution of the State Universal Education Board (UBE) would soon be resolved as both sides have embraced dialogue.

The crisis has denied the state the opportunity of accessing its N5.4 billion UBE funds trapped in the Central Bank of Nigeria

Besides, the state government has expressed satisfaction with its internal revenue generation efforts since it introduced its new tax regime, saying that it would soon introduce E- payment to enable it block leakages.
Governor Adams Oshiomhole, who disclosed this at a press conference in Benin yesterday, said the state government contributed N2.7 billion of the amount as counterpart fund, while the balance of N2.7 billion was provided by the Federal Government.

The UBE fund, the governor further explained, was meant to be used for the rehabilitation of infrastructure in all public schools in the 18 local government areas of the state and expressed hopes that the consultation between the two arms of government would lead to a resolution of the disagreement soon.

He said rehabilitation work was yet to commence in public schools for which the fund was earmarked to develop, adding that the UBE fund would lapse in December this year.

He, however, said that should the fund lapses without the state accessing it as a result of the disagreement between the two arms of government, Edo State government would retrieve it’s contributed of N2.7 billion from the federal government.

Commenting on the face-off between the two arms of government over the suspension of Oredo Council Chairman, Mr. Mike Ehima, from office by the state government, Oshiomhole explained that he followed due process by consulting the State House of Assembly as provided for by the local government law, adding that anyone not satisfied should go to court.

On the on-going nationwide strike by teachers, the governor regretted that the state wing of the Nigeria Union of Teachers [NUT] joined the action after the state government had reached an agreement with the teachers in the state that it would take steps to pay them certain incentives next January after assessing the state financial resources.

Governor Oshiomhole, while disclosing that the state government would soon employ qualified persons into the state civil service to inject fresh blood into the system, said that what  his administration has achieved in one month was what the Peoples Democratic party [PDP] administration could not do in the 10 years of its rule in the state.

Criticizing past PDP administrations’ inability to construct good roads and drainage systems in the state, the governor said his administration intended to keep PDP out of government for a very long time through good governance.

He disclosed that the state government would soon investigate allegations of financial impropriety at Ovia North-East local government council, adding that as long as God kept him as governor of the state, he would protect public interest.


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