The Nigerian government is urging states to make wise and responsible use of the UBE intervention funds

The Federal Government has urged all state governments to ensure judicious and responsible use of the corresponding grant disbursed to them for the implementation of the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBE).

The Executive Secretary of the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Hamid Bobboyi, made the call in Abuja on Monday while declaring open a six-day training for accountants and auditors of UBEC and those of the State Universal Basic Education Boards (SUBEBs). ).

He frowned on situations where state officials put undue pressure on financial officials and urged officials in SUBEBs to resist pressure from any side to commit violations and compromise standards.

Bobboyi said the aim of the training was to familiarize participants with the newly revised accounting manual and provide a comprehensive understanding of financial violations and sanctions, noting that such knowledge was crucial to ensure successful service delivery in primary education .

He said: “Given the mandates of UBEC and SUBEBs in the implementation of the UBE programme, it is imperative that we strengthen our accounting system to ensure judicious use of public investment in the sector.

“As such, it becomes our responsibility to be accountable to the Nigerian public on the management of the Federal Government’s UBE Intervention Fund and its overall impact.

“To effectively fulfill these responsibilities, it is necessary to continuously enhance our institutional capacity by improving the professional competence of all UBEC and SUBEB staff members,” he stated.

The UBEC boss lamented that while training has been provided to finance staff in line with the stated objectives, it is disheartening to note that these trainings have not yielded significant improvements on the work floor.

He revealed that regular quarterly financial monitoring activities conducted by UBEC “reveal poor accounting practices as well as violations that violate established rules, regulations and guidelines.”

He added that observations from these monitoring exercises were forwarded to SUBEBs, along with recommendations for necessary actions.

He emphasized the need to strictly adhere to the existing rules, regulations and guidelines designed to guide financial transactions for accountability, transparency and value for money.

“As a financial officer, it is your responsibility to ensure that these government regulations are strictly adhered to. I must emphasize that adhering to ethical standards is an essential part of your professional duty.

“You will not be excused if you commit or condone wrongdoing.

“And let’s not forget that reports generated from UBEC’s financial monitoring assessments are not just for internal use; they can be requested by relevant authorities charged with enforcing compliance with existing laws and regulations,” he said.

He urged the participants to make optimal use of the training program so that when they return to their respective offices, they would be equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills required to drive positive changes in accounting practices at both the Commission and the Boards of Management.

Earlier, UBEC Director of Finance and Accounts, Adamu Misau, said that in order to secure the FGN-UBE Intervention Fund, UBEC management had developed a new sanctions regime in 2022, which was approved for implementation by the Commission’s Board of Directors.

He explained that UBEC management had to delay implementation until all the financial managers of the Basic Education Fund were trained; hence the training program that his department organizes for financial officers.

“We hope that by the end of this training we will be better equipped to handle the FGN-UBE Intervention Funds judiciously, while adhering to financial regulations, guidelines and due process in accessing, using, accounting and the reporting of funds,” he said.