The federal government says it will deduct from source, part of the last tranche of the Paris Club refund from all states that have not accessed grants from the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC).
The Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu says the deduction from source is a deliberate attempt to check refusal by states to provide counterpart funding for basic education.
With this decision, defaulting states will forfeit part of the last tranche of their Paris Club refund, as counterpart funds needed to access the UBEC grants for their states.
‘‘I must say that corruption and lack of political will among other reasons have been responsible for most states’ inability to provide their counterpart fund to enable them access the matching grant provided by the Federal Government’’ Adamu Adamu
This move according to the minister of education will compel states to immediately commence the process of accessing the UBEC matching grants.
Meanwhile, the education ministry claims its recent financial intervention in the Basic education sector has contributed to improving quality of education at that level.
It says in the last four years, basic education funding increased significantly, despite low earnings from oil prices.
According to the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, a matching and non-conditional grant disbursement to 15 states across the country and the FCT amounted to Sixty-eight billion, Four hundred million (N68.4B) in 2015.
Again in 2016, grants disbursements to 29 states and the FCT was about seventy-seven billion naira (N77 billion).
In 2017 also, a total of Ninety-Five Billion Naira (N95B) was provided to 24 states and the FCT, while another One Hundred and Nine Billion (N109B) was given to 20 states and the FCT.
These disbursements of over four-year period totaling about Three Hundred and Fifty Billion Naira (350B) include, Matching grants, Educational imbalance fund, Special Educational fund, Good Performance fund, Instructional Materials funds, Teacher Professional Development fund, as well as UBEC Implementation and Monitoring funds across geopolitical zones..
‘‘During the 4-year period under review, the government of President Buhari provided a total grant of Three Hundred and Fifty billion naira’’