The Civil Society Action Coalition of Education for All (CSACEFA), says on Thursday that it is investigating N501.4 million Universal Basic Education Commission’s (UBEC) spending in 32 basic schools in Kaduna State.
Mrs Ahanonu Odinakachi, CSACEFA’ s Administration Officer, stated this in Kaduna at a Town Hall Meeting organised by the NGO to interact with relevant stakeholders in Kaduna North Local Government Area of the state.
Odinakachi explained that the project, with support from MacArthur Foundation, would track the spending of the funds under the 2014 and 2015 UBEC intervention projects in three local government areas namely Lere, Jaba and Kaduna North.
According to the Work Plan from UBEC, 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.
She said that the main goal of tracking UBEC projects in the state was to increase community’s voice in demanding for accountability to ensure efficient use of government resources.
“Our mission is to engage the citizens on effective monitoring and tracking the utilisation of the funds in ensuring that every child had access to quality basic education.
“This is crucial because the community members have a stake in UBEC spendings in their areas, hence the need to carry them along to ensure sustainability, “she said.
She said 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.
Mr Taye Lukas, CSACEFA Secretry, Kaduna Office, said that the on the sport 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.
“The 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.
In the course of the meeting, Malam Umar Aliyu, the Education Secretary, Kaduna North LGA, also confirmed that he was not aware of most projects being executed in his area.
Similarly, Jibril Abdullahi, the School-Based Management Committee (SBMC) Chairman in the state, also said that the contractors often times move to site without consulting members of the community.
Responding, Mrs Esther Jabji, Principal Social Mobilisation Officer in the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), promised that the board would bridge the gap between the contractors, community leaders and relevant stakeholders to get everyone on board.
The meeting was attended by community members, SBMCs, SUBEB, students and other relevant stakeholders.