Dr Tunde Adekola, the Senior Education Specialist, World Bank, has warned against the misappropriation of the 100 million dollars Global Partnership for Education (GPE) Fund.
Adekola , who is also the Task Team Leader of the project, gave the warning at the GPE/ Nigeria Partnership in Education (NIPEP) support mission and stakeholders workshop on Monday in Abuja.
The GPE fund being implemented by NIPEP is meant to eradicate illiteracy in five northern states of the country.
He urged the participants, who were made up of beneficiaries from the five states namely – Kano, Katsina, Jigawa, Sokoto and Kaduna to be accountable in the project implementation.
“The money is for a particular purpose that must be achieved, therefore you must make sure you are accountable.
“We must be transparent in our activities; it is not enough to say you are open, you must be seen to be open, there should be adequate evidence on ground to show that work is going on.
“The World Bank believes in transparency and the money should not just be used for organising workshops.
“The fund should be used in procuring instructional materials, equipment to work with and capacity building for teachers and head teachers,’’ he said.
Adekola urged the participants to interact, ask questions and share information as it was paramount to achieving the set goal.
He appealed to the states to ensure they paid teachers’ salaries, adding that 26 out of 36 states of the federation were still owing salaries.
“26 out of 36 states have not paid salaries and all these things we are doing won’t be fruitful if teachers are not paid.
“We are deceiving ourselves if we expect teachers to perform optimally without pay,’’ Adekola said
Earlier, Mrs Anne Okonkwo, the Director, Basic and Secondary Education, Federal Ministry of Education, said that the workshop was organised to perfect strategies on how to boost education system in the country.
She also urged participants to effectively share information in the five focal states and give feed back to the coordinating office, adding that it was cardinal to getting positive results.
She commended the development partners and GPE for their efforts in moving the sector forward, stating that their contributions could not be over emphasised.
Mr Joseph Acheide, the Project Coordinator of NIPEP, while giving the status report of the project, said that 14,850 girls had been given scholarship out of the 53, 000 targeted.
He urged the Federal and State government to provide support in funding welfare for implementers of the project.
He said that there was need to strengthen the Monitoring and Evaluation at local and state government levels.
Acheide advised that a survey should be conducted to verify the exact number of out-of -school children in the country.