By Kolade Larewaju
THE Minister for Education, Dr. Sam Egwu and Governor Olugbenga Daniel of Ogun State yesterday disagreed openly about the funding of education with Egwu blaming states for not accessing available funds.
Egwu wondered why state governors would be complaining of lack of fund for education when over N30 billion was lying idle for them to assess.
Daniel laments inadequate funding of education
Daniel had in his address at the 17th convocation ceremony of the University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, UNAAB, lamented the inadequate funding of education at the state and local government levels, noting that the burden for the two tiers of government had become too enormous.
He then advocated for a restructuring of the allocation to cater for the responsibilities of the state and local governments.
Daniel said, â€œthe Federal Government we believe should come to the aid of the states and local governments as the resources to fund these arms of education has become daunting. This has been particularly difficult in the prevailing economic circumstances when the allocations to the states and local governments have become inadequate.â€
But Dr. Sam Egwu after delivering the convocation address of the Acting President said his reaction to the speech of the Governor as Minister of Education was that governors were not accessing funds that were available.
He said, â€œlet me answer the Governor of Ogun State who is complaining of the problem of inadequate funds to run the primary and secondary education.
â€œThere is adequate fund, billions of Naira that the Federal Government has allocated to the Universal Basic Education Commission, only two states had accessed the fund. What is Ogun State and other states doing that they have refused to access the fund. So how can we justify your complaints?
â€œThe fault is not from the Federal Government; the states should go and access the fund. The fund would help them improve their funding of education. The 2009 allocation is there. Over N30 billion is in the banks waiting.â€
Earlier, the Acting President in the address read by Dr. Sam Egwu had pointed out that the reality of the time would require that the managements of the nationâ€™s universities evolve creative and innovative schemes to attract alternative sources of funding to complement governmentâ€™s efforts.
He said â€œyou need to creatively engage our development partners, the organised private sector and other stakeholders in productive and mutually rewarding partnerships. It is gratifying to note that the management of UNAAB is already working in this direction. This is commendable.â€