By Martin Paul in Abuja
The World Bank has warned the Federal Government against improper use of the $611 million loan for the strengthening of basic education in the country.
World Bank Task Team Leader in charge of the Better Education Service Delivery For All (BESDA), Hajiya Aisha Garba, who gave the warning at the flag-off of the BESDA in Birnin Kebbi, said that if the money was not used judiciously, the Federal Government would have no alternative than to refund the money to the World Bank.
She reiterated that the money was aimed at addressing the first pillar of the Ministerial Strategic Plan (MSP) 2016-2019 on out-of-school children, adding that one of the major objectives of BESDA include “to increase equitable access for out-of-school children, improve literacy in focus as well as strengthen accountability for results in basic education in Nigeria.
“We released this fund to assist the 36 states including the FCT but failure to used it and achieved the good results the World Bank will collect it’s money back” she added.
Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, in his remarks read on behalf by the Vice-Chancellor, Federal University Birnin Kebbi, Professor Bello Sheahu, commended the World Bank for initiating the BESDA project and providing the money to support the Federal Government.
Adamu asserted the claims that no nation can rise above the level of its education development without effective system to equip its people with adequate knowledge for competitive advantage of the 21st Century economy.
The minister explained that for Nigeria to adequately address the challenges, there must be the need to strengthen the quality of basic education by confronting those factors that denied children access to basic education.
He commended the Kebbi State Governments for their commitment and contribution towards ensuring the success of the programme.
Kebbi State Governor, represented by the Deputy Ismail Yombe Dabai, thank the World Bank and Federal Government for initiating the programme and assured of full implementation and commitments in ensuring quality education in the state.
He said that the state government had approved the establishment of six Tsangaya schools with over 2000 pupils to reduce the out-of-school syndrome.
Also in his welcome address, the Hon. Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Alhaji Mohammed Magwatta said that Kebbi State Government has invested more on education sector adding that over 7000 tables and chairs have been distributed to schools across the state.
He added that over 700 teachers have been recruited into Almajiri primary schools while over 20 teachers has under capacity building workshops in the state.