The former governor of Kwara State, Abdulfatah Ahmed, has refuted claims that his administration mismanaged counterpart funds meant for the Universal Basic Education Commission(UBEC).
In a reaction to allegations by the state government that his former administration mismanaged the funds, Ahmed said in a statement, absolved his administration of any wrongdoing in the management of UBEC funds.
He, however, maintained that the federal agency cancelled a N2.09bn grant to the state when the government borrowed from SUBEB, its fifty-percent counterpart fund of N1,045,050,604, for the payment of salaries at the height of the 2015 economic recession.
Stressing that the government’s borrowing of the counterpart fund for salaries was based on its concern for workers’ welfare and a commitment to repay from the expected refunds from the federal government.
The statement added that the administration had partly refunded the money but was prevented from paying the balance of N450m from funds received by the administration in the last days of its tenure due to its accounts being frozen.
“This anomaly of disallowing a sitting government from executing duly appropriated and approved expenditure is what prevented the former administration from repaying the balance of N450m to UBEC and executing other financial instruments that were not honoured by its banks for yet unexplained reasons,” the statement said.
It added that the school projects implemented with the partly-refunded grant were available for verification at the appropriate government agency but denied knowledge of UBEC blacklisting the state government during the former administration’s tenure.