Rivers State Governor, 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 yesterday at the Government House Port Harcourt during a courtesy visit by the House of Representatives Committee on Basic Education and Services, Wike also announced that his state would flag off the total rehabilitation of 174 primary schools in the state.
He said 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 will be more economical for the country.
“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 is re-positioning basic education to secure the future of the state.
He regretted that though some states claim they have made primary education their top priority, it is worrisome that such states leave their UBEC funds un-accessed.
The governor informed the committee that the state government has written to the Federal Ministry of Education to take over two Federal School in Ogu/Bolo and Aluu, which have been overgrown by weed after they were completed by the Goodluck Jonathan administration.
Earlier, Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Basic Education and Services, Zakari Mohamned, said Rivers State is one of the top six states to access UBEC funds for the development of basic education.
He said the committee was in the state to assess the utilisation of UBEC funds for the development of key projects in the sub-sector.