Govt to prosecute SUBEB chairmen over mismanagement of intervention funds

AdamuMinister of Education, Mr. Adamu Adamu, has warned chairmen of State Universal Basic Education Boards (SUBEBs) against mismanaging intervention funds allocated to the basic education sub-sector stressing that anyone found embezzling such funds would be prosecuted. 

This is as he attributed poor education delivery at all tiers to planning deficiencies and inefficient use of resources, noting that some state governments were notorious for their inability to access the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) intervention grants, but were quick to complain of insufficient funds.

The Universal Basic Education (UBE) Programme, a nine-year basic educational programme, and Nigeria’s strategy for the achievement of Education for All (EFA) and the education-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), was launched on September 30th, 1999 by the Federal Government. It was basically aimed at eradicating illiteracy, ignorance and poverty as well as stimulates and accelerates national development, political consciousness and national integration.

The UBE Act 2004 makes provision for basic education comprising of Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE), primary and junior secondary education. Notwithstanding the financing of basic education being the responsibility of states and local governments, the Federal Government decided to intervene in the provision of the all-important basic education with two per cent of its Consolidated Revenue Fund.

Provision for the establishment of the UBEC to co-ordinate the implementation of the programme at the states and local government through the SUBEB of each state and the Local Government Education Authorities (LGEAs) is made in the Act. Consequently, the UBEC was formally established on October 7th, 2004.

While UBEC strives to contribute its quota to the country’s educational advancement, as an intervention and regulatory agency saddled with the task of promoting uniform, qualitative and functional basic education in Nigeria, a good number of state governors are not helping matters just as SUBEB chairmen are often accused of either embezzling or misapplying the intervention funds.

A couple of months back, it came to light that 29 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have N80. 9b UBEC funds allocated to them, but lying unclaimed.

Adamu, who spoke at the flag-off of the 14th Quarterly Meeting of UBEC Management with executive chairmen of SUBEBs.

Adamu who was represented by Director, Basic and Secondary Education, Federal Ministry of Education, Agusta Okonkwo said, “I need to stress the premium the current administration places on efficient management of resources in a transparent manner. Let me state that government will not turn its eyes against any untoward attitude of fund managers, I, therefore charge you to be part of the change mantra.

“I also charge this meeting to address the challenge of accumulated funds in the UBEC, which have not been accessed by some benefiting states. We cannot be talking of insufficient funds for basic education when billions of naira are in the vault of banks idling away,” he stated.

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