The federal government has disclosed that it would henceforth deduct states’ counterpart funds directly from states monthly allocation as precondition for accessing the Universal Basic Education Commission funds.
The Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, said some states government had become notorious in not paying their counterpart funds that would enable them to access funds from the UBEC funds.
Speaking at a press conference on Monday in Abuja, Adamu lamented that the deliberate refusal of states to pay for their UBEC counterpart funding was affecting the quality of basic education in the defaulting states.
While giving a breakdown of the federal government’s intervention in improving the quality of basic education, Adamu revealed that the government had expended N350 billion as matching grant and other interventions to public primary and junior secondary schools in the country within the last four years.
The minister said: “In the six years preceding the Buhari Administration, that is, between 2009 and 2014, the Federal Government expended N360 billion worth of intervention on basic education covering textbooks, teacher professional development, construction of classrooms and library resources among others.
“In the last four years of the Buhari Administration, Federal Government funding of basic education has increased significantly, despite low earnings from oil prices. In 2015, matching and non-conditional grants disbursements to 15 states of the Federation and the FCT amounted to N68.4 billion. In 2016, grants disbursements to 29 states and the FCT was about N77 billion.
“In 2017 the Federal Government provided a total of N95 billion to 24 states and the FCT, and another N109 billion to 20 states and the FCT.
“The disbursements over the four-year period totaling about N350 billion include, matching grants, educational imbalance fund, special educational fund, good performance fund, instructional materials funds, Teacher Professional Development fund, as well as UBEC Implementation and Monitoring funds across geopolitical zones as attached.”
He blamed corruption and lack of political will on the part of states for their inability to provide their counterpart fund to enable them access the matching grant.
“Having come to this painful conclusion, the Federal Government decided to deduct from source, part of the last tranche of the Paris Club refund from all the states that have not been able to access their monies from UBEC.
“If this attitude of deliberate refusal on the part of states to provide counterpart funding for basic education continues, then the federal government will have no choice than to sustain its strategy of deducting counterpart funding of states percentage from source. It is expected that in a short while, states will commence accessing their matching grants,” Adamu revealed.