The Delta State House of Assembly has urged the state ministry of Basic and Secondary Education to intensify effort in revenue generation to strengthen the financial base of the State.
The Chairman, House committee on Education, Hon Angela Nwaka made the call when the ministry of Basic and Secondary Education and it’s parastatals appeared before the State House of Assembly to defend its 2018 budget.
Nwaka who was accompanied by members of the committee including Honourables Tonye Timi, Azuka Azaka, Peter Uviejitobor and Shola Daibo, emphasized that improved revenue generation was necessary to fund the budget.
“This is in keeping with the present administration’s goals.” Nwaka said.
The committee said the two laboratories constructed and the renovated ones were not adequate enough for students to perform creditably well in science subjects, adding that the ministry should focus on schools in riverine areas, sports development and security in order to safeguard school property.
They equally advised the ministry to partner with the private sector and other spirited persons to develop sports in the schools.
Speaking, the Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Mr Chiedu Ebie said that its ministry achieved less than 20 percent budge performance in the 2017 fiscal year due to a drop in the State’s revenue.
He said the ministry’s outstanding indebtedness from 2010-2017 is N23 billion with N11 billion of the amount inherited from the past administrations.
The commissioner disclosed that the ministry generated N289 million from January to October 31,2017, noting that N6.3 million of the said amount was generated from the use of schools, N131 million from registration and renewal of private schools, while N150 million was from tender fees.
He said the ministry would give top priority to the repositioning of technical and vocational education, infrastructural intervention, completion of ongoing projects, renovation and rehabilitation of modern schools, construction of additional class room blocks at the GRA modern school, Asaba, provision of furniture and construction of a teachers professional development center among others in 2018.
Also speaking, the Executive Secretary of the Universal Basic Education Board, SUBEB, Hon Sunny Ogwu said the board accessed its grants from the Universal Basic Education Commission UBEC, and completed projects for 2013-2014, while projects for 2015 were ongoing and letters of award of contracts issued for 2016 projects.
Equally, the Executive Secretary of the Vocational and Technical Board, Mr Michael Agbobire pleaded with the State House of Assembly to increase the board’s budget of N750 million to enable it achieve its goals for 2018.