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27 states fail to access N54.9bn UBEC fund

Twenty-seven states and the Federal Capital Territory have failed to access a total of N54.9 billion allocated by the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) for basic education purposes. Despite the urgency of addressing the increasing number of out-of-school children in Nigeria, these funds remain unused.

The data, obtained from a document prepared by UBEC in March 2024 and signed by its Director of Finance and Account, Adamu Misau, reveals that as of March 28, 2024, the mentioned funds were unutilized by the states and the FCT.

Among the states that have fully accessed their funds are Jigawa, Sokoto, Zamfara, Borno, Taraba, Nasarawa, Ondo, Enugu, and Delta. However, notable states like Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Yobe, Benue, Kwara, Niger, Kogi, Plateau, Ekiti, Lagos, Ogun, Abia, Rivers, Osun, Oyo, Anambra, Ebonyi, Imo, Akwa Ibom, and Bayelsa have failed to access their allocated funds.

The accumulation of unaccessed funds has been ongoing since 2020, totaling N54.9 billion in 2023 alone. Despite legal actions taken by human rights lawyer Mrs. Funmi Falana against the state governments and relevant authorities, the issue persists.

Dr. Ebenezer Leo The Great, an advisor to the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) on Education, attributed the trapped UBEC funds to the inability of state governments to provide the required counterpart funding. Efforts to reach out to the affected states, including Ogun, Osun, Benue, Ekiti, and Kano, reveal mixed responses, with some acknowledging the challenge and pledging to address it, while others claim to be up to date or blame procedural delays.

Overall, the failure to access these funds hampers efforts to improve basic education infrastructure and address the education crisis in Nigeria, highlighting the need for collaborative action and effective governance to ensure the efficient utilization of allocated resources.

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