On Tuesday, the Ad-hoc Committee on Basic Education and Services of the House of Representatives issued a dire warning to governors around the country, urging them to make basic education a top priority or face the consequences.
Prof. Julius Ihonvbere, the committee’s chairman, made these remarks in Ilorin, the capital of Kwara State, at the conclusion of a two-day oversight visit to the state to examine both finished and ongoing UBEC-SUBEB projects.
According to him, “I would like to persuade state governments to take basic education seriously in their own interest. Children who have been neglected, abused, or otherwise marginalised will lash out, and no amount of bulletproof cars, dogs, or barbed wire will protect them from that.
He pledged that no resources will be spared in punishing the states that were found to have misappropriated UBEC funds.
If a state’s government abandons important infrastructure that was awarded by UBEC, the state may face consequences. Ihonvbere continued, “We are revising the UBEC Act to enable UBEC to recover these facilities and return them to public usage.
“We are thinking at methods to compel conformity with the law of the nation; a situation whereby states that have not accessed the marching grant or have received it but utilised it wrongly would face certain penalties.”
Additionally, the committee chairman suggested that state governments that follow UBEC’s action plans will be rewarded with additional help.
“States that utilised UBEC monies properly like Kwara would get further support as a reward at the level of the committee, the National Assembly, and the UBEC,” Ihonvbere said.
The committee singled out Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq for praise, noting the “quality service delivery seen in the management of the Universal Basic Education Commission matching grants” and concluding that the state deserves praise for the high calibre of the schools and other facilities built with the money it has so far received.
“What we have seen so far in Kwara is of excellent quality and satisfactory. There is evidence of focus and commitment, and a strong desire in boosting fundamental education and preparing our children to live in an increasingly complicated technology driven global system”