By Amina Yahaya
Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, has disclosed a sum of N11 billion has been spent on the construction and renovation of 948 classrooms in several schools across the State from 2015 till date.
He disclosed that the breakdown shows that 388 new classrooms were built, while not less than 460 others were renovated within the period.
This is according to the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the Governor, Muhammad Bello, who disclosed that the governor said this, on Sunday, when he flagged off the 2018 marching grant projects and distribution of intent letters to successful contractors held at the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) headquarters in the State capital.
He said, “Other structures erected with the amount were offices and stores also spread across the State in different schools”.
“These are in addition to 23 school gardens and 23 boreholes that were constructed while five schools were fenced and three more rehabilitated to secure both pupils and property”.
“The amount does not reflect the counterpart fund by the Federal Government’s Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), which stands at about N7.2 billion, in addition to the intervention funds provided through the State Ministry for Local Government Affairs, totalling N6 billion”.
The statement further said that the amount expended by the State Government excludes the N2 billion provided by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) to sponsor the construction of more classrooms without any marching grant from the Federal Government.
“Governor Tambuwal added that his administration, having taken cognisance of the large population of students that require basic education, decided to dedicate 26 per cent of its budget to classrooms construction”.
“This, he explained has resulted in the provision of more structures, procurement of large consignment for teaching and learning materials, employment of more qualitative teachers as well as capacity development”.
“The Governor cautioned contractors against substandard jobs, saying that government will not accept such as he directed SUBEB to ensure strict compliance to contract specifications”.
In his remarks, the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’adu Muhammad, who was represented by Sarkin Yaki Binji, Kabiru Usman, lauded the State Government’s policies and programme on education.
He assured the government of the Sultanate council’s continued support and cooperation in the execution of all its programmes for the development of the State.
Also speaking, the State SUBEB Chairman, Hon. Shuaibu Gwanda Gobir, said that the State Government has procured and distributed instructional materials to the tune of N71 million to basic education schools.
He added that it has also paid counterpart funds for the smooth take-off of the Better Education Service Delivery for All (BESDA) programme, in addition to prompt payment of marching grants counterpart funds up to date.
In a goodwill message, the coordinator of UBEC office in Sokoto, Hajiya Mairo Usman, stated that the State Government has paid all its marching grants up to 2019.