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Reps committee threaten to penalize state govts diverting UBEC grants

Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Basic Education, Professor Julius Ihonvbere, has warned that state governments that divert UBEC grants will be penalized.

He said steps will also be taken to retrieve some abandoned facilities the commission allocated to some defaulting state governments.

Speaking after a two-day oversight and assessment tour of UBEC grant-aided projects in Kwara State, the chairman said there are penalties for states where UBEC allocated critical infrastructure to some state governments but were abandoned.

“We are amending the UBEC Act, so that it can retrieve such facilities and put them to public use.”

He said the committee was also looking at ways to compel compliance with the law of the land, a situation whereby states that have not accessed the marching grant, or have accessed the marching grant but used it wrongly will face some penalties.

He also disclosed that “state governments that comply with UBEC’s action plans, will be rewarded with more support to serve as encouragement to do more.

“At our level of the committee, the National Assembly and the UBEC, states that utilised UBEC grants perfectly like Kwara state, will get additional support as a reward, so that it will encourage them to do more.”

Ihonvbere condemned some state governments for doing what he described as a wishy-washy job, saying the list of such states will be made public by the committee.

He advised state governments to take basic education seriously in their own interest, as “bullet proof cars, dogs and barbed wire can not save them from the anger of uneducated, abused and marginalised children in the consequences.”

The committee chairman, who said the state deserves a pat on the back, commended the management of Kwara state Universal Basic Education Board and its Chairman, Professor Sheu Raheem Adaramaja, for proper monitoring and insistence on quality job delivery by contractors handling the projects.

Chairman of the state SUBEB, Professor Adaramaja, informed that the school projects covered renovation, construction and comprehensive remodeling of various structures across at least 605 public schools in the state, including provision of furniture, public toilets and water facilities.

Some of the schools the committee visited included Ogele LGEA Primary School, Ogele and Otte LGEA Primary School Otte-Oja (both in Asa Local Government area)and Sheikh Alimi Junior Secondary School (Ilorin West).

Also visited were Amoyo Junior Secondary School (Ifelodun); Gaa-Akanbi Junior Secondary School (Ilorin South); Shao LGEA Primary School, Shao (Moro); and Adeta UBEC Model Smart School in Ilorin West local government of the state.

Other members of the National Assembly Ad-hoc Committee on the oversight visit were: Hon. Mayowa Akinfolarin; Hon. Bashir Dawudu; Hon. Oluyemi Taiwo; Hon. Mufutau Egberongbe; Hon. Cook Ganiyu Olododo; Hon. Sylvester Ogbaga; Hon. Usman Abdullahi; Hon. Peter Owolasi; and Hon. Bukola Oyewo.

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