Cross River State, Governor, Prof. Ben Ayade has approved N1.2 billion counterpart fund to enable the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) access the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) grant for 2017.
The Executive Chairman of the board, Dr. Stephen Odey disclosed this while speaking with newsmen in Calabar, recently.
“The Governor has given his approval for the release of our 2017 request for grant of N1.2 billion. So, we are waiting for due processes to be completed. You are aware that for any state to access grant from UBEC, it has to first pay its counterpart fund. That is where we are now,” he said.
Odey said the board had utilised its N4 billion 2012 to 2016 grant by awarding contracts for 327 projects.
According to him “Some of the projects include provision of computers, renovation of schools, provision of sports equipment, provision of recreational facilities, supply of 85,000 textbooks, provision of instructional materials, supply of magnetic boards and over 67,000 plastic chairs and tables.
“As I speak, most of our primary schools operate computers with solar systems, while sporting activities are being revived in schools with the supply of table tennis sporting equipment.”
Speaking on the recruitment of 1,000 primary school teachers as well as teachers promotion, Dr Odey said “the board has already conducted written tests for applicants. But this has cost implications and we do not want to employ teachers and not pay them salary regularly.”
“We have also completed the process for teachers’ promotion, letters are ready. But because primary school teachers were last promoted in 2009, the financial implication is huge. We don’t want to release promotion letters without financial benefits.
“We have made proposals to the governor on these, but because of the present financial situation, Governor Ayade is taking his time on the matter,” he said.
Dr Odey further appealed to teachers to exercise patience, while assuring of the Board’s commitment to their welfare.
Friday Nwagbara, Calabar