A Non Governmental Organisation, the Civil Society Action Coalition on Education for All, (CSACEFA) said it has commenced investigation into N501.4m Universal Basic Education Commission’s (UBEC) spending in 32 basic schools in Kaduna State.
The organisation with the support of MacArthur Foundation said it would track the spending of the funds under the 2014 and 2015 UBEC intervention projects in three local government areas of Lere, Jaba and Kaduna North.
The Administration Officer, Mrs. Ahanonu Odinakachi who stated this at a Town Hall Meeting to interact with relevant stakeholders in Kaduna North local government said the main goal of tracking the projects was to increase community’s voice in demanding for accountability to ensure efficient use of government’s resources.
According to the work plan from UBEC, Odinakachi said N186.6 million was allocated for various projects in 10 schools in Kaduna North, N165.4 for 11 schools in Jaba and N149.3 also for 11 schools in Lere LGAs.
“Our mission is to engage the citizens on effective monitoring and tracking the utilisation of the funds in ensuring that every child has access to quality basic education. This is crucial because the community members have a stake in UBEC spending in their areas, hence the need to carry them along to ensure sustainability,” she said.
She stated that the meeting was organised to build a synergy for community accountability and transparency.“The meeting was organised to discuss issues around UBEC projects in the communities and build synergy among stakeholders for effective implementation of the projects. This will create the needed common ground where community members and duty bearers can collaborate during implementation of UBE projects,” she said.
CSACEFA Secretary in Kaduna, Mr. Taye Lukas, Office, said the on-the-spot monitoring and assessment of projects revealed that in most cases, projects were undertaken in communities without the knowledge of community members.
We were at Jaba for a similar meeting on Tuesday and the community leaders confirmed that they are not being carried along in the implementation of the projects. They equally confirmed our findings that most of the projects were poorly executed because of poor monitoring,” Lukas said.
CSACEFA Coordinator in the state, Mrs Theresa Biniyat, stressed the need for needs assessment before a project is decided to give community the chance to identify what they need.Similarly, Education Secretary, Kaduna North LGA, Malam Umar Aliyu also confirmed that he was not aware of most of the projects being executed in his area.
Responding, Principal Social Mobilisation Officer in the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Mrs Esther Jibji, promised that the board would ensure that contractors, community leaders and relevant stakeholders are carried along.