From Oluseyi Dasilva
A committee set up to look into the finances of the kwara State government uncovered about 246 nonexistent schools on the payroll of the state government under the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) scheme.
Sparked by this discovery, the Education Secretaries of the 16 Local Government Education Authorities were therefore summoned to an emergency meeting to ascertain the veracity of the report that names of fictitious schools were smuggled into the wage bill of the state.
The Permanent Secretary, State Universal Basic Education Board, Alhaji Bayo Onimago, who disclosed this said that the board may not rule out possibility of the revelation adding that state’s fund was being siphoned through the ghost workers allegedly working in the ghost schools.
He disclosed that the agency had launched investigation into the allegation and directed council education secretaries to conduct further investigations in order to unmask the perpetrators.
The 246 non-existent schools been on the payroll of the state government and were allegedly used in the last administration to siphon public fund.
Onimago, however, vowed that the board would act proactively on anyone caught in the deal over the nonexistent schools.
“Basically, what I feel I can say on that is that we have list of schools for Primary and Junior Secondary Schools even including the Teaching Service Commission Senior Secondary Schools.
“And this list of schools we have, it is based on the local government education authorities they are; they are under the supervision of Education Secretaries in that LGEAs. From the report we are getting from them, those schools, which we have with us, are those we supervise.
“So, the issue of non-existent schools, I’m not ruling it out and I’m not saying it might not be so but with the fact we have with us, the list of schools we have, are under the supervision of these Education Secretaries, who directly report to us at the SUBEB headquarters.
“We have called on the Education Secretaries in each LGEA to go on intensive monitoring of these schools”, he said.
When asked whether the education scribes were summoned, the permanent secretary responded in affirmation, saying “of course, they have been summoned. We summoned them that this is what we heard, that this is the allegation, that they should please go out and inspect most of these and probably see if there is iota of truth in the allegation”.
He disclosed that while 468 Junior Secondary Schools are in the state, 1577 primary schools exist on the board’s list.
The permanent secretary informed that teachers employed at the twilight of the immediate past government otherwise known as “sunset teachers” were being screened in line with the directive of the state Governor.
Onimago stated that the office of the State Head of Service was handling the screening exercise sequel to the Governor’s marching order.
He said the board had also carried out the directive of the Governor on the payment of salary of sunset teachers in the state, but clarified that some arrears owed teachers were yet to be paid.