Kwara State Government has received N7,151,142,190 grants from the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), the first time since 2013 when the state was blacklisted from the national scheme.
The development represents a historic feat for Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq who has spent the last one year working to reposition basic education in the state, beginning with the payment of N450m diverted funds which had brought Kwara State under the hammer of the UBEC.
The N7.1bn is a cumulation of UBEC grants that were not accessed between 2014 and 2019. The money was not accessed because the former administration failed to pay its own counterpart funds.
The UBEC grants are meant for rehabilitation of dilapidated basic schools, construction of new ones, equipment of the schools with ICT tools, training of teachers, and project evaluation, among other purposes contained in the UBEC work plan.
“This money would be spent in phases over the next two years to fix up to 600 elementary schools out of the over 1400 decrepit basic education facilities across the state. The projects would be monitored by UBEC to ensure compliance with the work plan submitted by the government,” Commissioner for Education and Human Capital Development Hajia Fatimah Bisola Ahmed said in a statement on Thursday.
“This development has taken Kwara State out of the bottom position in the ranking of states with highest figures of outstanding UBEC grants. The pitiful state of basic education infrastructure in the state is a reflection of the failure to access UBEC funds and the near-zero investments in the sector over the past few years.”
The government, meanwhile, is organising a three-day workshop for local contractors and anyone who is interested in working with the Kwara State Universal Basic Education Board (KW-SUBEB).
The workshop begins on Tuesday November 9, 2020. Further details will be released.
“In compliance with the Public Procurement Act 2007, the KWSUBEB will be inviting interested registered, competent, capable and reputable contractors to submit their pre-qualification document to tender,” the statement said.