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State govts depend too much on UBEC to finance basic education aWorld Bank.

THE World Bank has accused various state governments in Nigeria of over-dependence on money from the Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC, to finance basic education in their respective states.

The bank made the accusation in Lagos at a recent stakeholders' meeting on Regulations Monitoring Programme, REMOP, on Basic Education in Nigeria.

The programme, which was organised by the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism has one-time Nigeria's Representative to UNESCO, Emeritus Professor Michael Omolewa, as a keynote speaker and the representatives of UBEC, Parent-Teacher Association, Teachers' Registration Council of Nigeria, National Teachers' Institute and the media, among others in attendance.

Speaking on 'What is available to fix what is missing in the regulation and realities of basic education in Nigeria,' the Senior Education Specialist, World Bank, Olatunde Adekola, said the annual allocation of most of the state governments to basic education in their budgets do not go beyond their annual UBEC grants.

Represented by Mr Solomon Adebayo, Education Specialist Consultant, World Bank, Adekola explained that the priority of most state governors was to look, by all means, for their mandatory 50 percent counterpart funding of the total grant to enable them to access their annual grants from UBEC.

'And soon as they are able to access their funds(which usually be their total budget for basic education)

from UBEC in the block, they remove the same 50 percent and spend it on non- education issues, leaving the basic education to suffer.

She said the practice was not only condemnable but also anti-progress educationally and economically.

The World Bank official, who said the provision of sound education at all levels requires huge investment from both the public and private sectors, urged the various state governments to be transparent in their spending and always give basic education in a deserved attention.

Earlier, while delivering a paper on 'What is missing in the regulation of basic education in Nigeria?,' at the forum, former Nigeria's representative to UNESCO and Professor of History of Education, Michael Omolewa, said no amount of investment, especially by government at all levels, should be considered too much.

According to him, building up of any country lies on the quality of her basic education that must be free, accessible and universal without leaving out any child of school going age.

Prof. Omolewa, who said government does not commit enough resources to basic education, noted that the repercussions of such action are what is currently manifesting as youth restiveness, terrorism and criminal activities in the country.

While also urging governments to be more committed to lifting basic education to a meaningful level, he said it would be difficult for Nigeria to grow and develop her economy without solid basic education.

Also speaking, the Registrar\Chief Executive, Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria, TRCN, harped on the importance of teachers, especially at the basic education level, saying their welfare would need to be given adequate attention by their employers at both public and private sectors to enable them to perform at their optimal level.

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Publication:Nigerian Tribune (Oyo State, Nigeria)
Geographic Code:6NIGR
Date:Jun 12, 2018
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