Education Headline Local News Nigeria

CSOs seek more budgetary allocation for basic education

Development expert, Mr Femi Aderibigbe

Some Civil society Organisations have called on the board of the Universal Basic Education Commission to reduce the five-year grace period for matching grant disbursements to states government to two years to ensure the completion of projects in public and junior secondary schools across the country.

This is part of the recommendations at a one day education stakeholders meeting on accountability and good governance in the basic education delivery held in Abuja.

A development expert, Mr Femi Aderibigbe while presenting the recommendations from an assessment conducted across basic schools urged the Federal Executive and the National Assembly to amend the UBE Act to reduce the matching grant threshold for states from 50% to 35%.

He also called for the provisions for disbursing matching grants in tranches that are linked to performance indicators for quality, access, and duration.

Mr Aderibigbe also called on the board to increase the number of monitoring and evaluation staff including investing further in their training.

According to Mr Aderibigbe, the management of UBEC should develop and apply a framework for strengthening the capacity of its data collection processes within SUBEBs, which should integrate civil society and community-based organisations into its monitoring and evaluation systems.

He said each state government in Nigeria should pass a new UBE law that Defines UBE in the state as being compulsory, free, and for 12 years, from primary to senior secondary school, without prejudice to the federal UBE Act.

He called on state government to finance the 12 years of compulsory and free UBE with a minimum expenditure of 25% of total state government spending every year, excluding local government contributions (some states already exceed 25% but none are bound to do so and none do so consistently).

The programme Manager of Youthhub Africa, Mr Olusegun Medopin said the overall objective of the stakeholders meeting is to advocate for increased budgetary allocation for basic education at the national and state level of education.

Mr Medopin said a framework had also been developed to ensure citizens participation in the budgeting process for basic education in all the thirty six states and the Federal Capital Territory to ensure judicious use of resources and curb corruption.

The Advocacy Advisor, Strengthening Civic Advocacy and Local Engagement SCALE a project from of Palladium group with support from the United State Agency for International Development USAID, Mr. Iliya Yohanna stressed the need to engender transparency at the basic education level to ensure access to quality education, especially at the rural areas.

Reporting by Daniel Adejo