• Saturday, May 18, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

South-east states’ N8 billion UBE funds remain unclaimed since 2010

businessday-icon

More than N8 billion being Universal Basic Education (UBE) allocations to the South-East states have yet to be claimed at the UBE Commission since about 2010.

This emerged in Owerri last week during the first day of a supposed two-day maiden South East Education Summit (SEES), which was organised by Applied Scholastics International, Port Harcourt, which is a licensee of Applied Scholastics International (ASI) USA.

According to Akaneren Essien (a professor) and representative of the National Universities Commission (NUC) the South-East region has appalling educational standards, as facilities and curriculum leave much to be desired; although he said the region’s students continue to dominate among candidates seeking admission into the tertiary institutions as well as those writing the West African Examinations Council (WAEC), National Examinations Commission (NECO) and other secondary education final examinations.

It was revealed that, all each of the South-East states requires, is to rally counterpart funds, and approach the UBEC to pick up its UBE allocations each year. It was further revealed that, Imo State has over N2.6 billion UBE funds unclaimed since about 2010; its neighbour, Anambra State, has yet to access a little over N2 billion; while Ebonyi State has not touched its over N2.6 billion lying idle at the UBEC.

The story is not different with Abia and Enugu states; as the governors of the two states, just like their counterparts in the region have generally paid lip service to educational development, a key sector the region ironically enjoys huge comparative advantage in terms of potentials.

Chike Akunyili, the chairman of the summit, who is also a medical practitioner and an education philanthropist, who is husband of Dora Akunyili, the former information minister, led the way, berating the state governments for watching over the decay of the legacy bequeathed to them.

Akunyili, like Essien, warned that the region could collapse due to the continued neglect of education; more so, given the increasing number of boy-child drop-out.

Last March, Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, the minister of state for education, while on a visit to Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, called on him (governor) to urgently complete processes to pick up the state’s unclaimed N2.4 billion UBE allocation as well as, allocate a parcel of land for the Federal Government to build a special Vocational School for training of boy-children drop-outs in the state.

 

BEN EGUZOZIE