The Universal Basic Education Commission has disclosed that it has disbursed more than 525 billion to the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) as matching grants for the purpose of development of infrastructure in primary and junior secondary schools in their respective states.
The Commission also revealed that more than 27 million pupils are currently enrolled in both public and private primary schools across the country.
Deputy Executive Secretary of UBEC, Dr Isiaka Kolawole, made the disclosures on Tuesday in Abuja in his presentation during the visit of participants of the Senior Executive Course 44 of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, Jos, to the Federal Ministry of Education.
The delegation was received by the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, who was represented by the Acting Permanent Secretary, Mr David Gende.
The leader of the delegation, Professor Josephine Para-Mallam, said the focus participants of the Senior Executive Course 44 was Local Government Administration in Nigeria, and that the delegation was in the Ministry to find out the challenges being faced in education delivery as it affects Local Governments.
Kolawole in his presentation noted that the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended empowered the Local Governments to provide primary school education in the country and that what the Federal Government does through UBEC is to provide intervention for quality basic education in the country.
He maintained that Local Government Areas across the country remain major actors and providers of primary education in Nigeria as enshrined in the Constitution.
He told the delegation that UBEC derives its financial strength from two per cent of the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
He also disclosed that the Commission has disbursed matching grants to 36 states of the Federation and FCT from 2005 to 2022 for the construction of classrooms and the development of other infrastructures in schools.
He said the Board instituted Nigeria Certificate in Education as the minimum entry qualification into the teaching profession at the basic education level to ensure the quality of teaching.
He further revealed that a total of 1.4 million teachers were trained from 2020 to 2018 in addition to capacity building of 774 Education Secretaries in Nigeria on effective implementation of the UBE programme.
On projects funded with matching grants from 2011 to 2022, Kolawole said new classrooms constructed stood 30,349, classrooms renovated 28, 212, VIP Toilets constructed 10,121 and 1,386 boreholes were also constructed within the period under review.
On school enrolment figures, he disclosed that a total of 22, 384,755 learners have enrolled in public primary schools in Nigeria, saying male learners constituted 52 per cent while female learners is 48 per cent.
In the same vein, the Deputy Executive Secretary disclosed that enrolment in private schools stands at 5, 054, 632 learners across the country.
The Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, earlier in his welcome address, said that in 2016, the Federal Ministry of Education under his watch instituted an integrated comprehensive strategic plan to issues and problems of education in Nigeria, as means of fulfilling the transformative campaign promises of President Mohammed Buhari on Education.