The Chairman of the committee, Prof. Julius Ihonvbere, gave the commendation on Tuesday in Ilorin at the end of a two-day oversight visit to Kwara to inspect the completed and ongoing UBEC-SUBEB projects.
Ihonvbere who was in the company of other members of the committee said:”what we we have seen so far in Kwara is of high quality and satisfactory.
”There is evidence of focus and commitment, and a clear interest in promoting basic education and empowering our children to survive in an increasingly complex technology driven global system.
”I think the best way to appreciate what is going on is to have the proper understanding of how it used to be, and we’ve seen a lot in Kwara.
“It is not always that we find a leadership like Gov. Abdulrahman AbdulRazaq that understands basic education and its value to national growth and development.
”If the basics, that is, the foundation, is contaminated and corrupted, what it produces can never promote peace, stability, growth and development anywhere in the world, that is why basic education is very critical,” he said.
The committee chairman added that states found to have diverted the UBEC grants would be sanctioned, while those that utilised them effectively would be rewarded.
”There are states that have collected marching grants from UBEC and have not deployed them to basic education.
”A few (of the states) have jettisoned the action plans of UBEC; they are doing something else with the money while some have done wishy-washy works.
“There are penalties for states where UBEC allocated critical infrastructure to some state governments but are abandoned.
”We are amending the UBEC Act so that UBEC can retrieve such facilities and put them to public use.
“Secondly, we are looking at ways to compel compliance with the law of the land; a situation whereby states that have not accessed the marching grant or have accessed it but used it wrongly will face some penalties.
“At the level of the committee, the National Assembly and the UBEC, states that utilized UBEC grants perfectly like Kwara will get additional support as a reward, so that it will encourage them to do more,” Ihonvbere added.
Also speaking, the Chairman Kwara SUBEB, Prof. Sheu Adaramaja said the school projects covered renovation, construction, and comprehensive remodelling of various structures across at least 605 public schools in the state, including provision of furniture, public toilets, and water facilities.
He said the turnaround of the education sector under Governor AbdulRazaq had led to increase in students’ enrolment.
He decried how hundreds of classrooms were left dilapidated under the previous administrations.
“The situation before was so pathetic that nobody wanted to put their children in public schools.
”But the story is different now.
Enrolment of pupils into government owned schools has now increased,” Adaramaja said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that some of the schools the committee visited included Ogele LGEA Primary School, Ogele, Otte LGEA Primary School Otte-Oja (both in Asa Local Government area) and Sheikh Alimi Junior Secondary School (Ilorin West).
Other schools visited were Amoyo Junior Secondary School (Ifelodun); Gaa-Akanbi Junior Secondary School (Ilorin South); Shao LGEA Primary School, Shao (Moro); and Adeta UBEC Model Smart School in Ilorin West local government of the State.
NAN also reports that some of the members of the committee on the oversight visit were Mayowa Akinfolarin; Bashir Dawudu; Oluyemi Taiwo; Mufutau Egberongbe and Ganiyu Olododo.
Others included Sylvester Ogbaga; Usman Abdullahi; Peter Owolasi; and Bukola Oyewo.
NAN reports that on Nov. 5, 2020, Kwara received N7.1 million grants from the UBEC, the first time since 2013 when the state was blacklisted from the national scheme.
The governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr Rafiu Ajakaye, made this known in Ilorin on Thursday.
According to him, the development represents a historic feat for Gov. Abdulrazaq who has spent the last one year working to reposition basic education in the state, beginning with the payment of N450m diverted funds which had brought Kwara under the hammer of the UBEC.