Education

May 25, 2023

States fail to access N46bn UBEC grant, as basic education suffers

States fail to access N46bn UBEC grant, as basic education suffers

By Joseph Erunke

Despite the deplorable condition of public primary and junior secondary schools in the country, over N46.2 billion is still lying fallow in the coffers of the Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC, as state governments fail to provide their counterpart fundings for the execution of projects.

As at the last count, 30 states and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, have fully accessed their matching grants, six others are yet to do so. The six states are Abia, Adamawa, Anambra, Ebonyi, Kwara and Ogun. They are yet to access the 2020 UBEC matching grant. Also, 29 states have accessed the 2022 matching grant projects, seven states and FCT are yet to access 2022 UBE matching grant as at April 30, 2023.

The Acting Executive Secretary of UBEC, Prof. Bala Zakari, while hosting members of the Senate Committee on Basic and Secondary Education, expressed disappointment with the attitude of some state governments regarding the grant. The committee was at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja on an overnight function.

Laying the 2022 capital budget implementation report before the committee, Zakari said the total sum of N162.2 billion was allocated to the states as grants between 2019 and 2022, while N116 billion was accessed by 36 states and FCT. “The sum of N46.2 billion is the total of un-accessed UBE matching grants as at 30th April, 2023 by the 36 states and the FCT. Between 2019 and 2022, the sum of N162.2 billion was allocated to the states being UBE grants. As at 30th April, 2023, the sum of N116 billion was accessed by the 36 states and the FCT, Abuja, representing 71.52 per cent as at 30th April, 2023. As at the time of writing this report, only 11 states have accessed 2022 matching grant,” he said.

Speaking on the levels of UBE matching grant accessed by states, he said in 2019, 35 states and FCT   accessed 2019 allocation, with one state – Anambra yet to access the grant as at April 30, 2023. On the 2020 matching grant, he said: “30 states and FCT have accessed matching grant. Six states namely; Abia, Adamawa, Anambra, Ebonyi, Kwara and Ogun are yet to access 2020 UBE matching grant as at April 30, 2023. 29 states have accessed 2022 matching grant projects, seven states and FCT are yet to access 2022 UBE matching grant as at 30th April 2023. In 2022 matching grants, 11 states namely: Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Ekiti, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Nasarawa, Ondo, Taraba and Zamfara have accessed 2021 UBE matching grant. Twenty-five states and FCT are yet to access 2022 UBE matching grant as at April 30, 2023.”

Earlier, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Basic and Secondary Education, Senator Ibrahim Gaidam, said it was important to ensure that money released by the government is used for the purpose it was released. Gaidam, who was represented by the Vice-Chairman of the Committee, Senator Akon Eyakenyi, said the visit was to also confirm the implementation of the   2022 budget of the commission and proposal for 2023. The committee stressed the need for state governors to   key into the UBEC projects by accessing its fund in order to shore up the nation’s basic education sector.