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NEC meets over N34bn UBE fund

By DANIEL IDONOR
ABUJA—THE National Economic Council, NEC, is meeting today to brainstorm on the future of the Universal Basic Education, UBE, fund.

The governors would use the meeting to shore up their determination towards the immediate utilisation of the over N34 billion UBE fund.

Already, the governors have commenced work on how to get the needed matching grant to meet the counterpart funds, which is one of the pre-conditions for accessing the fund.

The issue is expected to be part of deliberations at today’s NEC to be presided over by Vice- President Namadi Sambo.

NEC, comprises the vice-president, who is also the chairman,  the 36 governors, Attorney- General of the Federation, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Minister of Finance, and Minister of National Planning.

To qualify for the grant as contained in the UBE Act, a  state shall contribute not less than 50 per cent of the total cost of projects as its commitment in the execution of the project.

This has become an uphill task for most of the states who have not been able to access the fund due to their inability to come up with the matching fund on the premise that they could not afford it.

Governor Murtala Nyako of Adamawa State, who spoke to newsmen at the end of NEC sub-committee, yesterday, said  the governors are left without any choice than to raise their own share.

This he said was part of the deliberation of the subcommittee which is working on alternative source of raising the fund.

He said this has become necessary as they (governors) are committed towards providing education to Nigeria children.

Nyako further said the governors are determined to make available their own counterpart fund so as to fully utilise the grant which is coming to the states as additional aide.

He also debunked the report that some governors want waiver, saying the money is “coming as an assistance” so it is not something they can lobby the federal government to overlook.

So Wednesday’s meeting which he said was a prelude to today’s NEC meeting he said was to look at the alternative sources and make recommendations to the governors.


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