About N30.8 billion allocated by the Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC, to states for the development of basic education in their domains has remained un-accessed as at June 2022.
UBEC, in a statement rebutting earlier reports that the amount was over N110 billion, disclosed that from the details supplied by its account department, from 2005-2021 the total disbursements of matching grant to states stood at N533.7 billion.
It noted that currently, 17 states, namely: Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Borno, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Ekiti, Gombe, Jigawa, Kano, Kebbi, Katsina, Nasarawa, Osun, Taraba and Zamfara have already accessed up to 4th quarter 2021 matching grant.
According to the commission, while all states and FCT have accessed 2005-2017 matching grant, three states namely: Anambra, Imo, and Ogun have not accessed any quarter in 2019 matching grant.
UBEC assured that its current Executive Secretary, Dr Hamid Bobboyi, has recorded tremendous achievement in drastically lowering the level of un-accessed funds, through stakeholders’ engagement, while also ensuring transparent management of the funds.
“It is also important to state that anybody who is abreast with the way UBEC operates as an intervention Agency, would understand that there is no way it would release money to coffers of states up to N110 billion without utilisation.
“The way UBEC operates is that you must utilise the first allocation to you before you are qualified to access the next year’s matching grant. It is evidence-based and the projects are also strictly monitored by the Commission.
“It is also instructive to make it clear that the 50% counterpart fund, which is one of the requirements for accessing the matching grant is a law as contained in the UBEC Establishment Act and requires amendment by the National Assembly. As such, it is not what UBEC would wake up one day and change as was suggested in the said Editorial by the Sun Newspaper,” the statement said.
UBEC was reacting to an earlier editorial by the Sun Newspaper of 20th June, 2022 alleging that about N110 billion of the intervention funds accessed from UBEC were not utilised by states as at 2021 with the money left in the coffers of State Universal Basic Education Boards, SUBEBs.
The commission described the analysis as “not only a misrepresentation of comments made by the Executive Secretary of UBEC at a briefing to flag off the 2022 National Personnel Audit (NPA) but a mischievous of way of distorting facts to put the Commission in the bad light.”