Nigeria: GovT Wants States to Access N41 Billion UBEC Funds for Classroom Construction, Others

10 NOVEMBER 2016

Minister of State for Education, Prof. Anthony Gozie Anwukah, has called on governors of the 36 states to, as a matter of urgency, access the N41b Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) fund, in order to provide classrooms for millions of students attending classes under the trees and in sundry locations.

The minister made the call in Abuja recently at a meeting with heads of parastatals under the ministry, where he expressed disappointment that such an amount was left untouched, while children studied under very harsh conditions.

The Universal Basic Education (UBE) Programme, a nine-year basic educational programme, and Nigeria’s strategy for the achievement of Education for All (EFA), and the education-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), was launched on September 30th, 1999 by the Federal Government. It was basically aimed at eradicating illiteracy, ignorance and poverty as well as stimulates and accelerates national development, political consciousness and national integration.

The implementation process of the programme got underway same year, but progress was hampered by lack of an enabling law to execute certain aspects of it. However, it was such a big relief former President Olusegun Obasanjo, signed the UBE Bill into law on 26th May 2004.

The UBE Act 2004 makes provision for basic education comprising of Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE), primary and junior secondary education. Notwithstanding the financing of basic education being the responsibility of states and local governments, the Federal Government decided to intervene in the provision of the all-important basic education with two per cent of its Consolidated Revenue Fund.

Provision for the establishment of the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) to co-ordinate the implementation of the programme at the states and local government through the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) of each state and the Local Government Education Authorities (LGEAs) is made in the Act. Consequently, the UBEC was formally established on October 7th, 2004.

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