Whereas billions of Naira are earmarked yearly as conditional (matching grant) and non-conditional interventions for the effective delivery of education at the primary and junior secondary schools levels, states are unable to access the funds largely due to corruption and lack of political will, the Federal Government has said.
For instance in 2015, only 15 states and the FCT obtained matching grants from the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) amounting to N15,020,365,538.42
Former minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, said at a media conference in Abuja that corruption and lack of political will, among other reasons, have been responsible for most states’ inability to provide their counterpart funds to enable them access the matching grants provided by the Federal Government.
About N350 billion was shared to states and the FCT as conditional and non-conditional grants between 2015 and 2018.
In all, the sum of N131, 248,842,439.46 was disbursed to the 36 states and FCT as UBEC matching grants to support basic education delivery at the state and local governments’ levels within the four years.
Having come to this ‘painful’ conclusion, Adamu said the Federal Government decided to deduct from source, part of the last tranche of the Paris Club refund from all the states that have not been able to access their monies from UBEC.
He said, “If this attitude of deliberate refusal on the part of states to provide counterpart funding for basic education continues, the Federal Government will have no choice than to sustain its strategy of deducting counterpart funding of states from source.
It is expected that in a short while, states will commence accessing their matching grants.”
Meanwhile, there are strong indications that President Muhammadu Buhari may review the conditions to be met before a state could access basic education matching grants.