UBEC disburses N533.7bn to states, justifies schools audit

Dr Hamid Bobboyi

The Universal Basic Education Commission on Tuesday said it disbursed N533.7bn to the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory between 2005 and 2021.

It said N30.8bn was not accessed as of June 6, 2022.

The commission disclosed this in a statement by its Director of Public Relations, David Apeh.

It noted that only 17 states had accessed up to the fourth quarter of 2021.

The PUNCH reports that UBEC is the Federal Government’s agency responsible for the supervision of basic education in Nigeria and disbursement of intervention funds in areas of basic education.

The statement read in part, “From the detailed information supplied by the accounts department, the level of un-accessed matching grant from 2005-2021 as of June 6, 2022 was N30.8bn while the total of disbursements of matching grant to states stood at N533.7bn over the same period.

“If there is any great achievement the current Executive Secretary, Dr Hamid Bobboyi, has achieved, it is in bringing down drastically the level of un-accessed funds through stakeholders’ engagement while also ensuring transparent management of the Funds.”

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It added, “Currently, 17 states have already accessed up to the fourth quarter, 2021 matching grant so far.

“The states are Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Ekiti, Gombe, Jigawa, Kano, Kebbi, Katsina, Nasarawa, Osun, Taraba and Zamfara.

“While all states and FCT have accessed the 2005-2017 matching grant, three states of Anambra, Imo, and Ogun have not accessed any quarter in the 2019 matching grant.”

No hidden agenda

Meanwhile, UBEC has told private school owners that the commission has no hidden agenda with the data being collected across Lagos State schools.

Speaking on Tuesday to journalists and stakeholders on the ongoing National Personnel Audit in Lagos, Bobboyi explained that private schools in the state did not give access to the 177 enumerators who were deployed across the state to audit schools.

A representative of the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools, Lagos chapter, Dr Comfort Otegbeye, explained that the private schools refused to welcome the UBEC enumerators because they felt the information would be used against them, for taxation, adding that some of the enumerators were rude and taking pictures of their schools indiscriminately.

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While responding, Bobboyi said Nigeria did not have credible data for national planning in the basic education sector.

He, thereby, admonished the private school owners to allow the enumerators to collect their school’s data while he assured them that UBEC had no hidden agenda.

He said, ‘‘We have come to look at how to encourage our private schools to participate in the census.

“We want to check our enumerators and listen to their challenges and how we can help them.

“The exercise is not for taxation, many fear that the data can be used for something else; we do not have any hidden agenda. The National Personnel Audit report is also not for taxation.

“We need data to give us an idea of what will be needed for national planning; it will also give you an idea of the challenges, in terms of the number of out-of-school children.”

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Executive Chairman, Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board, Mr Wahab Alawiye, appealed to the school owners to cooperate with the enumerators, adding that efforts would be made to sensitise the private schools on the audit.

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