EKSG set to borrow N3bn to offset UBEC Counterpart Funding


The Ekiti State Executive Council on Thursday approved the borrowing of a sum of N3 billion to offset its counterpart funding of the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC).

The approval for the loan was given at the virtual meeting of the State Executive council held in Ado Ekiti.

Muyiwa Olumilua, the State Commissioner for Information,  disclosed this in a statement issued at the end of the meeting.

According to him, the loan is to enable the state government meet up with its statutory 50% counterpart obligation towards the release of funds for UBEC/State Universal Basic Education Board( SUBEB) projects for 2019 and 2020.

He explained that the payment would enable the state access the fund in a bid to benefit from the 2019/2020 projects of the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC)

Olumilua said the fiscal step became imperative as failure to pay the counterpart fund would disqualify the state from receiving her share of the UBEC/State Universal Basic Education funding.

He said: “Memorandum on the offer of N3, 031,076,059.82 term loan for 2019 and 2020 Ekiti State Government counterpart contribution for SUBEB/UBEC projects was approved.

“Being a Federal and State Government partnership, both tiers of government are required to come up with their respective 50% contributions before the total sum is released to the State Government.

“It should be recalled that Governor Kayode Fayemi has substantially defrayed the outstanding counterpart funds for the years 2016, 2017 and 2018 UBEC/SUBEB projects, which was initially neglected by the previous administration, and the repayment is still ongoing”.

He said the governor had also constituted three separate monitoring units tasked with the assignment of carrying out an infrastructure audit in the education sector to determine the precise needs of the various schools.

The commissioner stated that the mandate of committees include monitoring of execution of all SUBEB projects in the state to ensure that all contracts awarded followed due process and duly executed.

Olumilua explained that Fayemi had also tendered the memorandum for the amendment of the Ekiti State Debt Management Law 2020 at the council to enable the state establish its own version of Debt Management Office (SDMO).

“Ekiti State Government, in 2011, put in place the law titled “Regulation to provide for the Establishment of the State Debt Management Office”, and for connected purposes.

“Nine years later, the contents and realities of the Regulation are becoming obsolete, due to economic changes and other factors in the global financial order and practices.

“The draft of the reviewed law was prepared by the Ministry of Finance, and the legal clearance of the Ministry of Justice was obtained

“With the approval of the Executive Council, the bill will be forwarded to the Ekiti State House of Assembly for legislative processing and passage into law,” he said.

Olumilu said the Council also approved the amendment of Section 34(1) (b) of the Ekiti State Fiscal Responsibility Law (No 12) of 2019 as advised by the Ministry of Justice.

“Section 34(1) (b) was amended to read: The State Government shall ensure that the level of public or internal debt as a portion of the state income is held at a sustainable level, as prescribed by the
House of Assembly, from time to time, on the advice of the Fiscal Responsibility Commission”.

The commissioner said that the amendment would be forwarded to the Ekiti State House of Assembly for legislative processing and subsequent passage into law.