The Executive Secretary of Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Dr. Hamid Bobboyi, disclosed on Monday while speaking at a meeting with the leadership of Education Correspondents Association of Nigeria (ECAN) in Abuja that, many state governments have failed to access the federal government matching grant to them now to the tune of about N60 billion as at March 31, 2017.
He noted that the matching grant, which is an intervention fund disbursed by the federal government to states through the UBEC, is meant to support the development of basic education and implementation of the UBEC scheme.
According to the statistics obtained from the commission on the un-accessed matching grant from 2005 to 2016 as at March 31, 2017, it was indicated that only two states have so far have accessed the 2016 grant. The states are Borno and Rivers State.
Ebonyi State is the least performed state in terms of access and utilisation of the fund as it currently has up to N4 billion un-accessed fund with UBEC.
Other states that followed Ebonyi closely are: Enugu and Ondo with over N3 billion each un-accessed, while Bayelsa, Niger, Ogun, and Oyo, each has N2.8 billion un-accessed fund lying idle with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The Executive Secretary of UBEC also lamented that apart from the refusal to access the intervention fund, some state governors have been involved in diversion of the allocation to their states.
He particularly revealed that five states were involved in illegal withdrawal of the counterpart fund after the federal government would have released the matching grant to them on payment of the requisite counterpart fund.
Besides, he said the commission had noticed and closed down the accounts of some states where the intervention fund were placed on fixed deposit in banks.