What are you doing with the funds?

That is the question, a Non-Governmental Organization, Connected Development (CODE), is asking the the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) intervention unit in Kaduna State.

The NGO has expressed concern over the poor quality of projects being implemented.

The NGO’s Senior Program Manager, Chambers Umezulike, made the observation at a training for education officials in Kaduna.

The training, second in the series was organized by the NGO for Kaduna State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) and Local Government Education officials on data gathering, analysis and dissemination.

Umezulike said the NGO reached this conclusion based on feedback from the School Monitoring Team (SMT) responsible for inspecting UBEC projects.

He explained that the NGO, supported by MacArthur Foundation is tracking the implementation of UBEC intervention funds in 23 selected schools in Jema’a, Kajuru, Kudan and Zangon Kataf Local Government Areas.

He said that the tracking of the projects including renovation, construction of toilets and fencing which began middle of 2017.

“Implementation are actually ongoing across the communities, but most of them are of poor quality.

“Feedback from the SMT, comprising Community based organisations, (CBOs), School-Based Management Committees (SBMCs), Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) and other stakeholders indicated that the contractors are cutting corners to make more profits.

“Their reports showed that the contractors in most cases are not using the right cement mixture; not using the recommended ceiling and roofing sheets among others.

“Our findings equally revealed that the contractors do not carry community members along during project implementation. This is a huge gap in terms of sustainability, “he said.

He attributed the poor quality of projects implementation to lack of effective monitoring, particularly by host community due to non-involvement.

He said that the findings would be submitted to SUBEB for immediate action, adding that the board has been very cooperative in ensuring maximum use of government resources.

According to him, the projects tracking, which would last for three years was designed to enhance citizens’ participation in the spending of UBEC funds.

The NGO hopes to track the implementation of UBEC funds in 70 schools in the state in three years.