The governor of Rivers State, Barrister Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, has called for the amendment of the Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC, Act to accommodate the funding of senior secondary education across the country.
Speaking at the Government House Port Harcourt during a courtesy visit by the House of Representatives Committee on Basic Education and Services, on Monday, Governor Wike also announced that Rivers State would flag off the total rehabilitation of 174 primary schools in the state.
Governor Wike said that rather than establish another commission to cater for the infrastructural needs of senior secondary schools, UBEC should be empowered by law to handle such issues as it would be more economical for the country.
He said: The amendment of the UBEC Act to accommodate senior secondary education was started last administration, but it was not concluded. I, therefore, call for the amendment of the UBEC Act to ensure that the commission undertakes the funding of senior secondary.
“When we came on board, we discovered that the immediate past administration did not access UBEC funds because of the failure to pay counterpart funds. We have paid the counterpart funds and accessed N5.6billion. By Thursday, we will flag off the total rehabilitation of 174 primary schools across the state. These schools will also be furnished,” he said.
The governor said that his administration was re-positioning basic education to secure the future of the state.
He regretted that though some states claimed they had made primary education their top priority, but that it was worrisome that such states left their UBEC funds un-accessed.
The governor informed the committee that the State Government had written to the Federal Ministry of Education to take over two Federal Schools in Ogu/Bolo and Aluu, which had been overgrown by weed after they were completed by the Jonathan administration.
Earlier, the chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Basic Education and Services, Mr. Zakari Mohamned, said Rivers State was one of the top six states to access UBEC funds for the development of basic education.
He said that the committee was in the state to assess the utilization of UBEC funds for the development of key projecrs in the sub-sector.