Gov Dave Umahi
Chief Hyacinth Ikpor, Executive Chairman of the Ebonyi Universal Basic Education Board (UBEB) says that state government has commenced the construction of 117 staff quarters for teachers in public schools.
Ikpor disclosed this in an interview with Summitnews on Tuesday in Abakaliki.
The UBEB boss who commended the governor for the gesture said that the initiative would provide affordable accommodation for teachers within the school premises.
He added that the initiative would further enhance the commitment of teachers to teaching and in the exercise of their oversight function on the children.
“The 117 staff quarters for teachers is part of the projects that we are doing geared towards promoting qualitative education and solving accommodation problems for our teachers.
“The 117 duplexes housing project is spread across the 13 local government areas of the state and his Excellency, the governor ensures that any programme he does gets to all the 171 political wards in the state,” Ikpor said.
He extolled Umahi for his administration’s commitment to the payment of counterpart funds to the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) to enhance the board to access its intervention grants from the commission.
He explained that the board inherited four years arrears of unpaid counterpart funds which the administration cleared immediately it came on board.
He said: “Our board had an unpaid arrears of counterpart funds up to four years but immediately the governor came on board, he cleared all the arrears and he has been consistent in paying subsequent counterpart funds.
” The essence of payment of counterpart funds is that when state government pays one kobo through UBEC; the Federal Government reciprocates by paying one kobo also through UBEC in form of marching grants.
Chief Hyacinth Ikpor
“And so, if the state government through UBEC pays N10 million, the FG will also pay N10 million through UBEC.
“We pay counterpart fund while FG pays marching grant and it is from this money put together that we use to do all that we are doing; including training of our teachers, building of structures among others.
“I’m happy that the board through the passion of his Excellency for education has been up to date in the payment of the state’s counterpart funds to UBEC.”
He explained that the board was currently engaged in a three – year infrastructural development projects being handled by 357 contractors which commenced in February, 2020.
He said that the directive was that some of the projects should be completed by the end of November.
“My people are now in the field visiting the various projecs sites to assess the level of completion,” he added.
The chairman who recently received the best South-East UBEB chairman award of ‘Excellence’ lauded Umahi for promoting sound and qualitative education in the state.
Ikpor who also spoke on his invitation to Abuja by the House of Representatives South-East adhoc committee on Public Accounts noted that the board had nothing to hide.
Ikpor who blamed his absence during the committee’s visit to the board on Dec 7 on lack of proper communication however said that he would avail himself to the committee with all relevant documents needed once properly invited.