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STATES SHUN N30B EDUCATION GRANT

By NBF News
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Figures just released by the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) show that about N30 billion matching grant remains un-accessed by various states of the Federation. But of the lot, six states namely, Borno, Cross River, Benue, Kano, Nassarawa and Sokoto top the list. While Borno has a total of N2,013, 715, 093 in its account, Cross River, Ebonyi, Kano and Nassarawa have a total of N1,986, 336, 021 respectively while Abia, Akwa Ibom and Anambra have N1, 153,903,589.98 unclaimed grants, each, in their own accounts.

If Borno State took the lead position, and Cross River, Ebonyi, Kano and Nassarawa, the second position, respectively, Benue State takes the third position with a total of N1, 802, 518, 453.98.

Other states that have unclaimed grants running into more than one billion include Sokoto (N1, 434,268,453.98), Delta (N1,362, 011,661.98) and Bayelsa (N1, 318,700,885.98).

A breakdown of the figures shows that Borno which tops the list, was unable to access, in 2006, a total N27, 378,483.65 out of the N576, 648,648.65 matching grant voted for the state while in 2008 and 2009, it could not access N832, 432, 432.44 and N531, 121,621.62, respectively, voted for it. But far, the highest is the 2010 allocation for the state which stands at N622,781,965.64.

In fact, with the exception of states like Adamawa, Katsina and Ondo, all other states whose grant for the 2010 allocation stands at par with Borno's are also yet to access their matching grants for that recurrent year. They include Abia, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Cross River, Delta, Ekiti, Enugu, Imo, Ondo and Yobe.

But between 2005 and 2010, a total of N136,550, 432, 728.68 matching grants were released by the UBEC. While N17,010,000,000,00 was released in 2005, N21,336,000,000.00 was released in 2006 while 24,710,000,000.00, N30,800,000,000.00, N19,651,500,000.00 and N23,042,932,728.68 were released in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010, respectively.

Sources close the Commission told Daily Sun that the states are opposed to imposition by the commission on what to do with the grants, while in some cases they want the 'stringent' conditions attached to the grant watered down.

The reason the states have not accessed the N30 billion grants is because many are yet to account for previous funds collected and the development has denied the states of the use of the resources to better primary and basic education.

States like Ogun, for instance, would not employ non-indigenous teachers while others are employing school certificate holders because they don't want to pay full salaries of qualified teachers.