Senate blames loss of N1tr on non-execution of audit reports
• Over N46b grants for schools not accessed by states, says UBEC
The Senate, yesterday, said about N1 trillion has been lost to delay by the executive arm of government in executing the chamber’s report against agencies that breached financial regulations.
Vice Chairman of Public Accounts Committee, Senator Hassan Hadejia, who briefed journalists after a plenary session, said a bill is being put together to curb the delay.
He said: “The total money we have recovered, so far, and which we have said should be refunded, amount to over N1 trillion.
“We have submitted our reports to the executive arm of government. But up till now, we have not even got an acknowledgement from the executive.”
He added: “The report we submitted is sacrosanct. There’s nothing to add or remove. We have been able to identify those who misappropriated government funds and we have also traced where the money is. We have recommended that the money be retrieved. But up till today, nothing has been done.”
Also, Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) has said over N46 billion matching grants for development of public primary and junior secondary schools have not been accessed by some state governments.
Acting Executive Secretary, Prof. Bala Zakari, stated this during an oversight visit to the Commission by the Senate Committee on Basic and Secondary Education, in Abuja, yesterday.
Presenting the 2022 capital budget implementation report, Zakari said N162 billion was allocated to states as Universal Basic Education (UBE) grants between 2019 and 2022 while N116 billion was accessed by 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
He said: “The sum of N46 billion is the total of un-accessed UBE matching grants, as of April 30, 2023, by the 36 states and the FCT.
“Between 2019 and 2022, N162 billion was allocated to the states, being UBE grants. As of April 30, 2023, N116 billion was accessed by 36 states and the FCT, representing 71.52 per cent as of April 30, 2023. As at the time of reporting, only 11 states accessed 2022 matching grant funds.”
He disclosed that in 2019, 35 states and the FCT accessed 2019 allocation, with one state (Anambra) yet to access the grant as of April 30, 2023.
For 2020, he said: “Thirty states and the FCT accessed matching grants. Six states -Abia, Adamawa, Anambra, Ebonyi, Kwara and Ogun – are yet to access 2020 UBE matching grants as of April 30, 2023. Twenty-nine states have accessed 2022 matching grants projects, while seven states and the FCT are yet to access 2022 UBE matching grants as of April 30, 2023.
“In 2022, 11 states – Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Ekiti, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Nasarawa, Ondo, Taraba and Zamfara – accessed 2021 UBE matching grants. Twenty-five states and the FCT are yet to access 2022 UBE grants as of April 30, 2023.”
Earlier, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Basic and Secondary Education, Ibrahim Gaidam, said it was important to ensure money released by the government is used for the intended purpose.
Gaidam, who was represented by Vice Chairman of the Committee, Akon Eyakenyi, said the visit was to also confirm implementation of the 2022 budget of the Commission and proposal for 2023.
The committee stressed the need for state governors to key into UBEC projects by accessing funds to shore up the nation’s basic education sector.