Economy

How we spent N45m to train 1,000 primary school teachers’, Nasarawa State Govt tells SERAP

The Nasarawa State Universal Basic Education Board has responded to a Freedom of Information request by Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), disclosing how “the government spent Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) funds on primary school education between 2015 and 2019 including spending N45 million in one week to train one thousand primary school teachers.”

This development was disclosed today in a statement by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare.

The government’s response followed FOI requests SERAP sent last month to the Nasarawa State Universal Basic Education Board (NSUBEB), UBEC and other 35 state universal basic education boards, seeking details of spending on primary education across the country, given the poor state of education in many states of the federation.

In the letter with reference number NS/UBEB/S/OFF-69/VOL.I/XX and signed by the Board Secretary Yakubu Ahmed Ubangari, on behalf of the Executive Chairman, the Nasarawa State Education Board disclosed that “Our counterpart fund for primary education in 2015 was N866,756,76 while the matching grant was N876,756,756,76. In 2016, our counterpart fund was N607,848,100.48 while the matching grant was N607,849,100.48. The total fund we accessed in 2015 was N1,753,513,513.52. For 2016, it was N1,215,698,200.96.”

According to the letter, “In 2015, we spent N45,000,000.00 in one week to train 1000 primary one and two teachers on Jolly Phonics teaching in our schools. The objective is to improve staff and pupil’s synthetic phonics in English language and to read and write effectively. The training took place in the 3 Senatorial district centres in the state.”

The letter with accompanying documents dated 21 May 2019, but which SERAP said it received last Friday, read in part: “We spent N13,925,336.36 to construct 3 classroomswith 1 office at Kwagshir Primary School. The construction was done by Gibbs Scientific Nigeria Limited. We spent N13,925,336.36 to construct 3 classrooms with 1 office at Riri Primary School; the construction was done by Mu’uru Puhu Services Nigeria Limited.”

“We spent N3,030,791.00 to construct toilet with 4 compartments; the construction was done by A. Odumu Unique. We spent N220,472,000.00 on supply of chairs and desk; the supplier was Innate Resources Services Limited.”

“We spent N13,925,336.36 to construct 3 classrooms block at Yarkadde Primary School, Keffi; the contractor’s name is Dan Dogara Oil Limited. The project is 100 percent completed. We spent N13,925,336.36 to construct 3 classrooms block at Feferuwa South Primary School, Lafia; the contractor’s name is Alfada Global Ventures Limited. The project is 96 percent completed; the balance of N526,213.68 to be paid.”

“We spent N13,925,336.36 to construct 3 classrooms block at Abebe Primary School, Keana; the contractor’s name is Calfez Nigeria Limited. We spent N13,925,336.36 to construct 3 classrooms block at Igyomuh Primary School, Keana; the contractor’s name is Suleimaniya Integrated Services Limited. We spent N13,925,336.36 to construct 3 classrooms block at Yelwan Bassan Early Child Primary School, Kokona; contractor’s name is Dougymarks Nigeria Limited.”

“In 2016, we received N165,000,000.00 which was spent as follows: N45,000,000.00 was spent on Training of Primary One, Two and one Jolly Phonics; N78,110,080.00 was spent on Training of Basic Education Teachers and Administration on Clusters; N20,000,000.00 was spent on Strengthening Mathematics and Science Education (SMASE); N10,000,000.00 was spent on Training of LGEA Quality Assurance Teachers; N8,250,000.00 was spent on Training of 165 ECCD Staff, while N3,639,920.00 was spent on LGEA Cluster Support Mechanism Training.”

“N78,110,080.00 was spent to train 1550 basic education teachers and school administrators on cluster model in 31 centres in the state. The training was for 13 weeks. We spent N20,000,000.00 to train 300 teachers to strengthen mathematics and science education (SMASE). The training was for six weeks. Also, we spent N10,000,000.00 to train 150 teachers on Quality Assurance in our schools; the training took 3 weeks. We spent N8,250,000.00 to train 165 teachers on the use of curriculum and teachers’ guide, and instructional materials; the training took one week.”

“We spent N13,925,336.36 to construct 3 classrooms block at Wayo Primary School, Wamba; the contractor’s name is First Trinity Integrated Services Limited. We spent N13,925,336.36 to construct 3 classrooms block at Apringbo Primary School, Doma; the contractor’s name is Honey Darl Pharmacy. We spent N13,925,336.36 to construct 3 classrooms block at Umme Primary School, N/Eggon; the contractor’s name is Abufat Global Ventures.”

“We spent N13,925,336.36 to construct 3 classrooms block at Nahuche Primary School, Nasarawa; the contractor’s name is Nlonnu Global SGL. We spent N13,925,336.36 to construct 3 classrooms block at Pesin Primary School, Toto; the contractor’s name is Sofian Al-Venture Limited. We spent N13,925,336.36 to construct 3 classrooms block at Mama Pilot Primary School, Wamba; the contractor’s name is VAASR Multi Venture. We spent N13,925,336.36 to construct 3 classrooms block at Mudu Primary School, Doma; the contractor’s name is Baba Muha Ventures.”

“We spent N13,925,336.36 to construct 3 classrooms block at Saura Mada Primary School, Kokona; the contractor’s name is Ayime Kweyi Enterprises. We spent N13,925,336.36 to construct 3 classrooms block at Tungan Nupawa Primary School, Lafia; the contractor’s name is Fas Field Investment Limited. We spent N13,925,336.36 to construct 3 classrooms block at Angwan Waje Lalle Primary School, Lafia; the contractor’s name is Husnil Husna Nigeria Limited.”

SERAP said: “We are studying the large documents on spending on primary schools in Nasarawa State, with several purportedly completed but also some uncompleted. Our team is analysing the total project sums, comparing the amounts spent on projects. We will publish the full information on our website and social media platforms shortly. We have also set up a national verification group to visit the state and other states of the federation to check the status of projects against the total amounts reportedly spent and to talk to all the contractors involved.”

It would be recalled that SERAP had in an FOI request to the Nasarawa State Universal Basic Education Board stated that: “Since assuming office, Nasarawa State Government has reportedly received over N3.4billion from Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC). Nasarawa State also reportedly received N47.6billion from Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) in 2018, at an average of N3.97billion monthly.”

SERAP’s FOI request read in part: “Despite the huge resources available to the State Government and the massive budgetary allocations to primary education in Nasarawa State including from the UBEC funds, several of the around 1,310 schools across the State are in shambles, and with very poor teaching facilities, thereby jeopardizing the futures of tens of thousands of Nigerian children in in the State.”

“Nigeria is also a state party to the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, which require states parties to promote transparency and accountability in the spending on education, and take steps to improve and expand quality and free education for all.”

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