FG Advocates Prudent Use of UBE Intervention Fund

By Alice Etuka, Abuja

The Federal Government has urged the state governments to ensure judicious and accountable utilisation of the matching grant disbursed to them for implementation of Universal Basic Education (UBE).

Executive Secretary of the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Dr. Hamid Bobboyi, made the call on Monday, May 20, 2023 while declaring open a 6-day training for Accountants and Auditors of the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) as well as those of the State Universal Basic Education Boards (SUBEBs) in Abuja.

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Bobboyi said, the purpose of the training was to familiarise participants with the newly reviewed accounting manual and provide a comprehensive understanding of financial infractions and sanctions, noting such knowledge was crucial to ensuring successful service delivery in basic education.

He said: “Given the mandates of UBEC and SUBEBs in implementing the UBE programme, it is imperative that we strengthen our accounting system to ensure judicious utilization of government investment in the sector.

“As such, it becomes our responsibility to be accountable to the Nigerian public regarding the management of Federal Government UBE Intervention Fund and its overall impact.

“To fulfill these responsibilities effectively, it is necessary to continuously enhance our institutional capacity by improving professional competence among all UBEC and SUBEB staff members”.

The UBEC boss lamented that while trainings have been provided for the finance staff in accordance with the set objectives, it was disheartening to observe that these trainings have not yielded significant improvements in workplaces.

He revealed that regular quarterly financial monitoring activities conducted by UBEC revealed, “poor record-keeping practices as well as infractions that violate established rules, regulations, and guidelines”.

He added that observations made from these monitoring exercises were forwarded to SUBEBs along with recommendations for necessary actions.

He also stressed on the need to strictly adhere to the existing rules, regulations, and guidelines intended to guide the financial transactions for accountability, transparency, and value-for-money purposes.

“As finance officers, it is your responsibility to ensure strict compliance with these government stipulations. I must stress that adhering to ethical standards is an essential part of your professional duty.

“You will not be excused if you engage or condone any wrong doings. And let us not forget that reports generated from UBEC’s Financial Monitoring assessments are not merely intended for internal use only; they can be requested by relevant agencies tasked with enforcing compliance with existing laws and regulations,” he said.

He urged the participants to take full advantage of the training programme so that on return to their respective offices they would equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills needed to bring about positive changes in accounting practices at both the Commission and Boards.

Earlier, Director of Finance and Accounts, UBEC, Adamu Misau, said in order to safeguard the FGN-UBE Intervention Fund, the UBEC management had developed a new sanction regime in 2022 which was approved for implementation by the Commission Governing Board.

He further explained that the UBEC management had to delay the implementation until all the financial managers of Basic Education Fund were trained; hence the training programme organised by his department for the financial officers.

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