By Clement Idoko
THE Executive Secretary of Universal Basic Education Commission, Dr Hamid Bobboyi (UBEC) has decried poor execution of some infrastructure projects in basic education in the country, and vowed to strengthen its monitoring mechanism to curb the menace.
He expressed commitment of the commission towards ensuring that state governments make judicious use of the matching grant allocated to them for infrastructure development by building standard classrooms and other projects in schools in their respective states.
Bobboyi spoke in Abuja during the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), with the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), for strict monitoring and supervision of the Universal Basic Education (UBE) projects in public schools across the country.
He said the commission decided to partner with COREN, which is the regulatory body of the engineering profession in Nigeria, to ensure that contractors engaged by the state governments adhere strictly to the acceptable standards and high quality delivery of infrastructure projects at the basic level of education.
While the Bobboyi signed MoU for the commission, the Registrar of COREN, Professor Joseph Odigure signed for the Council.
‘Officials initially offered to help but when the number of able-bodied citizens at the centre increased, they left us
Bobboyi in his remarks said that the involvement of COREN in project monitoring would lead to a lot of improvement in the quality infrastructure delivered by the State Universal Basic Education Boards (SUBEBs) across the country.
He said the whole idea was to provide a conducive environment for learners in Nigeria.
He said: “The Federal Government spends a lot of money in the form of matching grants to states. The monies are used for the development of infrastructure. There are times when we have challenges with the quality of infrastructure built by the states though we have quality infrastructure delivered in many states.
“We hope that the journey we have begun with COREN will help us in delivering quality projects that we all crave to adequately serve Nigerian children,” he said.
UBEC disburses billions of naira in form of matching grants to states while the states pay the required 50 per cent counterpart fund in order to access the money for the development of infrastructure in public primary and junior secondary schools in the 36 states of the Federation and Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
On his part, the Registrar of COREN, Professor Joseph Odigure said resident engineers would be in charge of monitoring projects in the respective states.
Odigure noted that the MoU was to enable COREN as the regulator came in to ensure that acceptable standards as built into the drawings are met by the contractors, saying the council has taken great pain to select the engineers for the monitoring of the projects.