Education stakeholders have decried the non-implementation of education-based issues as captured in national budgets in the country.
They raised the concern in Ikono Local government area of Akwa Ibom State, during a 2-day Town hall on Budget Process Engagement and Citizens’ led monitoring organized by Women United for Economic Empowerment.
While calling for the implementation of education-based issues in national budgets, the stakeholders stressed that there was a need for proper attention to be given to the education sector, particularly in the local areas.
The participants who lamented the poor state of infrastructure in some schools in local areas, attributed the development to award of contracts for school renovations to politicians.
This, they noted, in most cases results in “delivering of incomplete jobs where only roofs are changed, while the interiors are not touched”.
They also decried the lack of adequate funds for the servicing of the education sector in LGAs as they operate joint accounts with the state government despite a series of agitation for local government autonomy.
According to them, “due to the paucity of funds in the local government administration, the education department in Ikono LGA, is combined with the information, culture and sport when it should have been separated”
In his remarks, an associate professor in the department of Political Science, University of Uyo, Etim Frank while appreciating the participants for their numerous contributions, explained that the town hall meeting was to enable them ask questions on whether monies meant for education in Ikono have been received.
Earlier, the program’s Officer, WUEE, Mr Joshua Asuquo explained that the town hall meeting was to inform community stakeholders of capital projects within their communities by their representatives; obtain critical information about the level of implementation of these projects; increase the likelihood of greater citizens’ participation in the budget making process engagement and identify challenges to citizens’ participation in the budget process through direct interaction with the community stakeholders and CSO’s.
He said it would help them brainstorm on possible solutions to these obstacles, with WUEE serving as a bridge for inclusion between communities and government.