Communities in Lere Local Government Area of Kaduna State have called on Governments at the Federal and State levels to involve them in the implementation of Universal Basic Commission’s, UBEC, intervention projects.
They made the call on Tuesday at Saminaka during a Town Hall Meeting organised by Civil Society Action Coalition on Education for All, CSACEFA.
NAN reports that the meeting was aimed at building synergy for community accountability and transparency.
The communities argued that involving them in UBEC projects in their respective areas would ensure accountability.
Mohammed Abubakar, the Village Head of Rahama alleged that traditional leaders were not being carried along in the implementation of government projects in their communities.
Mr Abubakar said they were only consulted when something goes wrong on site and government looks for someone to blame.
According to him, such behavior was responsible for the poor quality of jobs done by the contractors.
Similarly, Sunday Yaro, the Village Head of Unguwan Shaura demanded that the School-Based Management Committees, SBMCs, should be given the Bill of Quantity so they could properly monitor the projects.
“How do we monitor projects in our communities when we don’t know anything about the projects?,’’ Mr Yaro asked.
Also, Marther Solomon, Women Leader, Kuduru noted that women had stake in ensuring judicious use of UBEC funds in provision of quality education for children.
On her part, Hannatu Soni, Executive Director, Positive Hope Support and Care, POHSAC, Saminaka, advised government to carry the communities along in order to give them a sense of belonging.
Earlier, CSACEFA Secretary in the state, Taye Lukas said that a total of N149.3 million was allocated for various projects in 11 schools in Lere local government under the 2014 and 2015 UBEC intervention projects.
Mr Lukas, however, noted that accountability on UBEC intervention at community level was “very low’’ because of minimal participation of communities in the supervision of such projects.
According to him, some of the projects were poorly executed because the communities were not often consulted when the projects were being designed or implemented.
“On the spot assessment revealed that some of the projects were well executed, others were badly done, while others have no trace of any development on site.
“Also, in most of the schools, SBMCs were not aware of the projects, even those that they were aware, were not involved in the projects, while others were completely not interested.
“Not only that, some of the contractors are unfriendly to the community.”
Responding, Mr Jonathan Joseph of the Physical Project and Monitoring Department, Kaduna SUBEB acknowledged that SUBEB did not allow communities to dictates to it.
Joseph explained that the communities write to the board about peculiar problems in their schools, adding that some of the inputs were considered when deciding what projects to site at what community.
On supervision, Joseph said that supervision was a technical exercise, stressing that only experts should be involved in supervision.
He, however, said that SBMC were being involved to report any anomaly to the appropriate authorities.
NAN reports that CSACEFA is investigating N501.4 million UBEC spending in 32 basic schools in Jaba, Kaduna North and Lere local government areas of Kaduna State under the 2014 and 2015 intervention projects.
The funds were being tracked with support from MacArthur Foundation.