Se­nate to ease ac­cess to UBEC funds

Daily Trust - - NEWS - By Is­mail Mu­dashir

Se­nate Pres­i­dent Bukola Saraki said amend­ment of the Com­pul­sory Uni­ver­sal Ba­sic Ed­u­ca­tion Act will pro­vide states with needed funds to en­hance qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion in the coun­try.

In a state­ment by his Spe­cial Ad­viser on Me­dia and Pub­lic­ity, Yusuph Olaniy­onu, Saraki said for many years, sev­eral states have been un­able to ac­cess the intervention funds from the Uni­ver­sal Ba­sic Ed­u­ca­tion Com­mis­sion (UBEC), due to in­abil­ity to pay the 50 per cent match­ing grant pre­scribed by the Act.

He said the Se­nate amend­ment of the bill was in line with its com­mit­ment to en­sure that ed­u­ca­tion was im­proved at all lev­els across the coun­try.

“There is ab­so­lutely no point hav­ing over N60 bil­lion of ba­sic ed­u­ca­tion funds ly­ing idle, be­cause the states, due to other nec­es­sary com­mit­ments, can­not pro­vide the coun­ter­part fund­ing for UBEC.

“This is why the Se­nate amend­ment is a down­ward re­view from 50 per cent to 10 per cent. What we are do­ing is telling the states that ed­u­ca­tion is im­por­tant, we know that you can­not com­mit the full 50 per cent to UBEC, how­ever, if you can bring 10 per cent of the coun­ter­part funds, you will be able to ac­cess this money to im­prove the qual­ity of ba­sic ed­u­ca­tion.

“This will go a long way in tak­ing many more of our chil­dren off the streets and back in the class­rooms, where they be­long,” Saraki said.

On his part, the Sen­a­tor rep­re­sent­ing Sokoto North, Sen­a­tor Aliyu Wam­mako, the spon­sor of the bill said the amend­ment will ease pres­sure on states in ac­cess­ing funds for in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment.

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