Home News Kwara: Abdulrazaq, Ahmed Trade Tackles over Alleged Diversion of UBEC Funds

Kwara: Abdulrazaq, Ahmed Trade Tackles over Alleged Diversion of UBEC Funds

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The Kwara State Government has accused former Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed’s administration of criminal neglect of schools through its alleged diversion of the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) funds.

Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq revealed that UBEC blacklisted the state because Ahmed’s administration mismanaged the N1.5 billion grant meant to upgrade schools in Kwara in 2013.

Ahmed, however, refuted claims that his administration mismanaged UBEC counterpart funds.

A statement issued by his spokesman, Dr. Muyideen Akorede, absolved his administration of any wrongdoing regarding the management of UBEC funds.

He maintained that the federal agency cancelled a N2 billion grant to the state when the government borrowed from the Universal Basic Education Board (UBEB) its 50 per cent counterpart fund of N1.5 billion for the payment of salaries at the height of the 2015 economic recession, which prevented most states from meeting salary obligations to workers.

AbdulRazaq’s administration described the former governor’s response to the allegations as baseless.

In a statement, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor AbdulRazaq, Rafiu Ajakaye, said: “The last administration cannot be forgiven for the criminal neglect of the schools because the consequences are there for all to see.”

The statement added that Ahmed’s response to the outrage greeting the diversion of N1.5 billion UBEC funds has raised more questions on the sordid neglect of public schools under him.

Ajakaye added that the former governor’s statement that claims that funds weren’t diverted or mismanaged hold no water in the face of revelations from UBEC and the decrepit state of schools.

The government said the mismanagement was apparent in Kwara ranking 37th – or the lowest – on the list of UBEC Matching Grant Disbursement Performance as at April 30, 2019.

The government said Ahmed’s claim that his government used the N1.5 billion to pay workers’ salary was untenable and fishy for an administration that received N22 billion Paris Club refund and additional N3.4 billion bailout funds that were meant to help states pay workers when federal allocation dropped.

“As at April 30, 2019, Kwara has the worst rating under the UBEC Matching Grant Disbursement Performance! This is a written record. This is the legacy of the former governor and the People’s Democratic Party’s (PDP) administration in Kwara State,” the statement said.

It added: “The former governor claimed he was unaware that Kwara was blacklisted. This is false. The diversion of the N1.5 billion UBEC funds and the decision of the agency to bar the state from further dealings until diverted sums were paid is nothing but official blacklisting of Kwara State.

“UBEC officials made it clear that they investigated Kwara’s claim that it used the funds to pay workers and found the same to be false. The investigations, they said, showed that the money was diverted. The UBEC position is further corroborated by the fact that at least 49 school projects captured under the fund were either abandoned or not started at all.”

 

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