FCT, 27 States Fail To Access N36bn UBEC Grant

Twenty-seven states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, have failed to access the N36.1bn education fund provided by the Universal Basic Education Commission in 2023.

The N36.1bn figure is obtained from a document prepared by UBEC in March 2024, which showed how state-by-state matching grants were not accessed.

The document, which was signed by UBEC’s Director of Finance and Account, Adamu Misau, said the sum of N36.1bn was not accessed by states.

According to the data on the document, Jigawa, Sokoto and Zamfara states in the North-West; Borno and Taraba states in the North-East; Nasarawa State in the North Central; Ondo State in the South-West; Enugu State in the South-East and Delta State in the South-South have fully accessed their funds.

However, the document stated that Kaduna State failed to access the sum of N1.3bn in 2023; Kano State failed to access the sum of N581m in the same year, with Katsina and Kebbi states also failing to access the sum of N1.3bn each in 2023.

Adamawa and Bauchi states, according to the data, jointly failed to access the funds provided for 2023 (N1.3bn).

Gombe State failed to access the sum of N1.3bn from 2023, while Yobe State failed to access the same amount in the same year.

Benue, Kwara and Niger states owed an accumulated sum of N2.6bn both, due to their failure to access the intervention funds in 2023.

Kogi, Plateau states and the FCT presently have N1.3bn each not accessed, which is presently lodged with the commission from the 2023 disbursement.

Ekiti and Lagos states also failed to access the sum of N1.3bn each from the 2023 disbursement.

Further analysis of the data revealed that Ogun State is yet to access the fund.

In February 2024, Human rights lawyer, Mrs Funmi Falana (SAN), dragged the 36 state governments and the FCT before the Federal High Court in Lagos, over their failure to access N68bn UBEC funds to provide free basic education for their citizens.

The senior advocate said the states failed to pay the counterparts funds necessary to access the UBEC funds to provide free basic education for citizens.

Also joined as defendants in the suit were the Attorney-General of the Federation, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), the Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman (SAN) and UBEC.

But The NGF’s Education Advisor, Dr Ebenezer Leo The Great, in a recent interview with Saturday PUNCH, disclosed that the UBEC fund was trapped due to the inability of state governments to raise the 50 per cent counterpart of the amount they need.

“The issue is the difficulty faced by states to access funds in UBEC. We’re looking at how to change the legislation, amend the UBEC Act to reduce the matching grant, that is the counterpart fund that states are supposed to pay to access the fund,” he said.

Meanwhile, data from the Commission also revealed that over 47m pupils are currently enrolled in 171,027 private and public primary and junior secondary schools across the country.

UBEC puts the total of public schools at 79,775 while private schools are currently standing at 91,252.

For enrollment, the Commission noted that 7.2m pupils are currently enrolled in Early Childhood facilities with 31.7m enrolled in primary schools while a total of 8m are currently enrolled in Junior Secondary Schools.

For the teachers, the Commission noted that 354,651 teachers are currently teaching in Early Childhood facilities, 915,593 in primary schools and 416,291 in Junior Secondary Schools.

Speaking with Sunday PUNCH, the National President of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, Comrade Audu Titus Amba, said even though accessing the UBEC funds will reduce the 10.5m out of school children in the country by 80 per cent, there was no how the state governments can get the access without providing their expected counterpart funding.

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