The Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, has said the plan by the main opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party, to come back in 2023 to rule the state, is a wild goose chase.
He said Kwara was blacklisted for the looting of the UBEC funds in 2013 by the former PDP administration.
The governor in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Rafiu Ajakaye, on Monday said the “criminal diversion of funds” meant for development of basic education in the state by officials of the past administration of the PDP was tantamount to reckless looting of the future of Kwara child.
Speaking at the official signing of MoU for the KwaraLEARN programme, the governor said it was laughable to hear characters who took part in the looting of public resources for basic education talking about good governance or launching themselves back to public offices in 2023.
He said the administration had spent the last over two years funding basic education to launch Kwara back to national reckoning – seven years after the state was blacklisted for the looting of the UBEC funds in 2013 by the former administration.
“The former administration misbehaved. They did not invest in education at all. It is indeed saddened to know that they did what they did. We all know what UBEC stands for. It was created by the Federal Government to assist states with funding of basic education system. In 2013, the state was given about N1bn and they just stole the money. Since then the state was barred from accessing the funds.
“The state was blacklisted until 2019 when UBEC started forcing them to pay back. When we came in 2019, there was an outstanding of N450m to be paid. So, we quickly paid that. The sad tale is that there had been no significant investment in education. The school infrastructure had collapsed. Teachers were not paid. Teachers were promoted but they did not back it up. We are just backing it now, some dating back to 2017. Teachers were paid half salaries.
“We are trying to build confidence in our teachers through training and retraining. Nobody was training the teachers no to talk of payment of salaries.”