Wole Balogun, Ado Ekiti
Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi has said the payment of counterpart funds by his administration will facilitate transformation of basic education in the state.
The Governor disclosed this in Ido Ekiti while commissioning a block of six classrooms at Ekiti Parapo College as part of activities marking the first anniversary of his administration.
Fayemi, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi, disclosed that payment of N4 billion counterpart funds to the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) will change the face of basic education in the state.
According to a statement by the Special Assistant (Media) to the Deputy Governor, Odunayo Ogunmola, other projects commissioned were a police station in Igogo Ekiti, and town halls in Obada Ekiti and Isan Ekiti.
The Governor disclosed that basic education suffered setbacks after his first tenure when the succeeding administration did not pay UBEC counterpart funds for 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.
“In 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017, no counterpart fund was laid to the Federal Government so we could not access money to build schools,” said Ogunmola, speaking for the Governor.
“But when Fayemi came, he paid all the arrears of counterpart funds and before the year runs out, we will give out contracts.”
The Governor promised that competent local contractors will be engaged to execute the jobs to boost the economy in the grassroots.
Fayemi further urged people in the communities to always monitor projects in their domains and take ownership of them to prevent vandalism.
The Chairman of the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Prof. Francisca Aladejana, disclosed that over 300 schools are being rehabilitated to provide environment conducive to learning.
She said: “We are touching over 300 schools in Ekiti State; apart from renovation, we are building fences and providing new buildings.
“We now have money because the Governor has paid N4 billion counterpart funds to UBEC in Abuja.”
The Ekiti SUBEB boss pointed out that education is now free in the state and it is an offence for parents to keep their wards at home during school hours.
She said the Fayemi administration is paying teachers salaries up to date, providing instructional materials, furniture and other facilities to motivate teachers and pupils.