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N46.2bn matching grants still unaccessed – UBEC

Photo: Daniel Adejo/Radio Nigeria

Some state governments have not accessed over N46,2 billion in matching grants for the development of public Primary and Junior Secondary Schools, according to the Universal Basic Education Commission.

During an oversight visit on Wednesday, to the Commission by the Senate Committee on Basic and Secondary Education in Abuja, the acting Executive Secretary, Professor Bala Zakari, said, “As of 30 April 2023, the total amount of unclaimed UBE matching grants was N46,211,153,298.63.”

Zakari, presenting the 2022 capital budget implementation report, stated that between 2019 and 2022, over N162 billion was allocated to the states as UBE grants, while only N116 billion was accessed.

As of the reporting date, only eleven states had accessed the 2022 matching grant fund, he added.

On the 2020 matching grant, he said,” 30 states and FCT have accessed matching grants. Six states namely; Abia, Adamawa, Anambra, Ebonyi, Kwara and Ogun are yet to access the 2020 matching grant as of 30th 2023.

“29 states have accessed 2022 matching grant projects, seven states and FCT are yet to access 2022 UBE matching grant AST on 30th April 2023.

“In 2022 matching grants, 11 states namely, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Ekiti, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Nasarawa, Ondo, Taraba and Zamfara have accessed the 2021 UBE matching grant. Twenty-five states and FCT are yet to access the 2022 matching grant as of 30th April 2023

Earlier, the chairman of a Senate committee, Senator Ibrahim Gaidam, stated that it was crucial to ensure that government funds were used for their intended purpose.

Gaidam, who was represented by the Vice Chairman of the Committee, Senator Akon Eyakenyi, stated that the visit was to confirm the implementation of the Commission’s budget for 2022 and the proposal for 2023.

Reporting by Daniel Adejo;Editing by Fany Olumoye