Kwara State Governor, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, has explained that the looting of N1 billion Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) fund by the PDP administration in 2013, led to the state being blacklisted by the commission.
According to a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Rafiu Ajakaye, the governor stated this while speaking at the official signing of MoU for the KwaraLEARN programme, on Monday.
Abdulrazaq said the “criminal diversion of funds meant for development of basic education in the state by officials of the past administration of the PDP was tantamount to reckless looting of the future of Kwara child.”
He said Kwara was blacklisted for the looting of the UBEC funds in 2013 under the PDP administration, adding that it was laughable to hear characters who took part in the looting of public resources for basic education talking about good governance or launching themselves back to public offices in 2023.
The governor said his administration had spent over two years funding basic education to launch Kwara back to national reckoning, seven years after the state was blacklisted for the looting of the UBEC funds in 2013 by the former administration.
“The former administration misbehaved. They did not invest in education at all. It is indeed saddened to know that they did what they did. We all know what UBEC stands for. It was created by the Federal Government to assist states with funding of basic education system. In 2013, the state was given about N1 billion and they just stole the money. Since then the state was barred from accessing the funds.
“The state was blacklisted until 2019 when UBEC started forcing them to pay back. When we came in 2019, there was an outstanding of N450 million to be paid. So, we quickly paid that. The sad tale is that there had been no significant investment in education. The school infrastructure had collapsed. Teachers were not paid. Teachers were promoted but they did not back it up. We are just backing it now, some dating back to 2017. Teachers were paid half salaries.
“We are trying to build confidence in our teachers through training and retraining. Nobody was training the teachers, not to talk of payment of salaries,” Abdulrazak said.