From Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
The Benue State Government has lauded the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) for promptly releasing matching grants to continually support projects for the improvement of basic education in the state.
Commissioner of Education, Dr. Saawuan Tarnongo gave the commendation in his keynote address during the opening of bids for the utilization of 2020/2021 UBEC/Benue State Government Intervention Funds held at the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) premises in Makurdi, the state capital on Wednesday.
Tarnongo disclosed that both UBEC and the Benue State government have equally released the sum of N1,430,148,270.20 as matching grant for the 2020 intervention as well as the sum of N1,893,393,328.96 for the 2021 intervention to give a total of N3,323,441,599.16 for the counterpart funds of 2020/2021 intervention for UBE projects.
While commending UNICEF, GPE, the World Bank and other critical stakeholders for their immense support to the UBE program in the state, the Education Commissioner cautioned all contractors who are participating in the exercise against misappropriating finds or abandoning the project.
“As you are aware, government will not hesitate to deal decisively with contractors who fail to execute the projects to a logical conclusion. It is important to note that the successful implementation of the project in Benue state will justify government’s huge investments in the UBE programme and attract more opportunities to the state.”
Earlier in a welcome address, Executive Chairman of SUBEB, Joseph Utse gave a breakdown of projects to be executed using the 2020/2021 intervention funds to include the construction of 46 units of UBE standard blocks of three classrooms with office, store and VIP toilets while 46 classroom blocks are also to be renovated.
“Also, 51 boreholes will be sunk in different schools in the state. Assorted plastic furniture totalling 23,739 sets are to be procured and distributed to schools where these infrastructures are lacking,” Utse said.