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How Anambra, Ogun, Imo, Edo, Ebonyi abandoned N10 billion UBE fund with UBEC

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DESPITE the decay, shortage and dilapidation of infrastructure as witnessed in most public schools across the country, Nigerian Tribune checks has revealed that state governments have abandoned over N29 billion with Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC). 

The affected states were said to have refused to pay the requisite 50 per cent counterpart fund in order to access the fund. 

Leading the pack of states with high un-accessed fund are Anambra, Ogun, Imo, Edo and Ebonyi, with each having over N2 billion lying fallow at the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). 

A document obtained from the headquarters of UBEC on Tuesday, detailing the un-accessed matching grant from 2005 to 2020 as of August 17, 2021, indicated that the five states had refused to pay the requisite counterpart fund to access the over 10 billion cumulatively disbursed to them for implementation of Universal Basic Education (UBE) programme in their states. 

The document, however, contradicted a statement credited to the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, a few days ago that over N130 billion has not been accessed from UBEC by the state governments. 

Adamu, who was quoted to have spoken through the Minister of State for Education, Honourable Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, described as unfortunate, the inability of some states of the federation to access over N130 billion made available by UBEC for development of primary education in their states. 

He spoke at the 65th National Council on Education meeting in Jalingo, Taraba State, saying over N130 million in UBEC custody is still unutilised as a result of inability of states to provide their 50 per cent counterpart funds. 

It could not be established immediately if the minister included the 2021 allocation in the figure he announced, which Nigerian Tribune gathered statutorily could not be accessed until January, in line with the laws establishing the commission. 

The document obtained from UBEC further revealed that other states with high amount of un-accessed fund are Niger, with N1.7 billion and Enugu, N1.56 billion. Other states have over N7 million each, apart from Bayelsa, Delta, Jigawa, Kaduna, Rivers, Kebbi and Zamfara, which have fully accessed their matching grants. The document also showed that over N500 billion was disbursed as matching grant to states from 2005 to 2020.

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