The Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) has ranked Kwara state the lowest among states on the chart of UBEC Matching Grant Disbursement Performance as at April 30, 2019 because the state was able to assess only 53 per cent of its fund.
The performance chart of the states released by UBEC and made available to newsmen in Ilorin Monday, listed Jigawa as first, having accessed 94 per cent of its fund.
Kwara and Ogun were listed as non-performing states having accessed only 53 per cent of their N12.04bn in UBEC.
Adamawa, Borno, Cross Rivers, Delta, Gombe, Kebbi, Lagos, Osun, Oyo, Rivers, Sokoto, Taraba, and FCT were listed as top performing states with 88 per cent of the fund utilised and remaining only N1.47bn yet to be accessed.
The 11 states of Anambra, Bauchi, Kaduna, Kano, Kastina, Ondo, Zamfara, Niger, Akwa Ibom, Yobe and Nasarawa were listed as performing states with 77 per cent of their funds utilised and remaining N2.1bn yet to be accessed.
Abia, Bayelsa, Benue, Edo, Ekiti, Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo, and Plateau state and were average performing states with their performance index ranging from 59 to 71 per cent.
The Chief Press Secretary to Kwara governor, Rafiu Ajakaye said he was not surprised that Kwara was rated lowest in UBEC performance chart.
Ajakaye said the chart clearly vindicated the governor’s allegation that N1.5bn UBEC fund was diverted under the previous administration.
He said the administration’s claim that it used the N1.5bn to pay workers’ salaries was untenable for an administration that received N22bn Paris Club refund and additional N3.4bn bailout funds.
“We regret to say that the last administration cannot be forgiven for the criminal neglect of the schools because the consequences are there for all to see.
“As at April 30, 2019, Kwara had the worst rating under the UBEC Matching Grant Disbursement Performance.
“This is written record. This is the legacy of the former governor and the PDP administration in Kwara State,” Ajakaye said.
He added that the former governor’s claim that he was unaware that the state was blacklisted was false.
“The diversion of the N1.5billion UBEC fund and the decision of the agency to bar the state from further dealings until diverted sums were paid is nothing but official blacklisting of Kwara State.
“UBEC officials made it clear that they investigated Kwara’s claim that it used the funds to pay workers and found same to be false.
“The UBEC position is further corroborated by the fact that at least 49 school projects captured under the fund were either abandoned or not started at all.
“It has been four long years since Kwara was blacklisted on account of the irresponsible diversion of the 2013 UBEC funds.
“Between 2015 and now, Kwara has received over N22billion in Paris Club refund and additional N4.3billion in bailout under the Muhammadu Buhari administration.
”Why didn’t they use part of that money to refund the N450million diverted from UBEC fund?
“If the future of the children means so much to the administration, why did it take so long to remedy an unfortunate situation that had occurred in 2015?”