By Felix Khanoba
The Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) says it now has on its coffers a total of N73billion as un-accessed marching grants of states.
Dr Hamid Bobboyi, Executive Secretary of UBEC, made this known on Monday in Abuja during an oversight visit of House of Representatives Committee on Basic Education and Services.
Bobboyi, who expressed concern over the attitude of some states in accessing the fund, said Kwara State alone has over N7billion not accessed from 2014 to 2019.
He also listed other states that have large sums with the Commission to include Anambra-N4.2billion, Enug-N4.3billion, Abia-N3.8billion, Plateau-N3.1billion, among others.
He, however, explained that the figure of un-accessed fund was high because the 2019 matching grant was actually due for access by state governments from 31st December, 2019.
“Technically, 2019 is not un-accessed because you cannot access fund between 31st December, and January 2020. It is an amount that usually accumulate up to the end of the year, before people begin to access it”.
Bobboyi also disclosed that 10 states have also lodged their 50 per cent counterpart which is prerequisite for accessing the matching grant but were unable to access the cash because they have failed to submit action plan detailing the projects to be executed to UBEC.
On Anambra, the UBEC boss said the state had paid its counterpart fund, but expressed suprise that it was yet to forward the action plan for the matching grant to be released to the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) for development of education infrastructure in the state.
Bobboyi urged members of the committee to liaise with their state governors on the need to access the un-accessed funds and utilise them effectively in the effort to have a functional and literate society.
On his part, Vice Chairman, House Committee on Basic Education and Services, Hon. Usman Zanah, said the visit was one of the constitutional mandates of the National Assembly to play oversight role rto ensure accountability and good governance.
He commended UBEC Executive Secretary for introducing various innovations and effectiveness in the disbursement of the matching grant for the overall development of education in the country.