The World Bank, in collaboration with the Katsina State Government, has commenced the disbursement of N4.5 billion School Improvement Grant (SIG) to 150 selected primary schools in various communities across the state.
The disbursement of the funds was flagged off on Thursday by Governor Dikko Umaru Radda at Shagumba Primary School in Batagarawa Local Government Area of the state.
Radda, during the flagg off, said the School-Based Management Committees (SBMCs) were responsible for the utilisation and management of the funds on behalf of the benefiting schools and communities.
He said the benefiting schools were selected based on certain criteria, including the level of dilapidation, numbers of pupils in catchment communities close to the schools, and the problem of water, sanitation and hygiene facilities in the schools.
He therefore admonished members of the SBMCs to ensure judicious utilisation of the funds for the purpose for which they were disbursed, warning that: “The state government will follow up to ensure no one or group of people mismanages the funds for any selfish reason.”
He said: “SBMCs are not expected to fold their arms and utilise the SIG funds alone. They are expected to reach out to wealthy individuals within their catchment communities for additional support for the schools to ensure that school age children are back to school and learning until completed.”
He called on the school-based management committees, education secretaries, zonal coordinators and other stakeholders to monitor service delivery, teachers’ attendance, insubordination, absenteeism and report anyone found culpable to the state government.
While warning that his government has no time to waste in delivering all its campaign promises, Governor Radda urged his appointees to accelerate the implementation of all pending projects in the state.
The governor explained that the business of education and service delivery were not the responsibilities of the government alone, noting that stakeholders must contribute either directly or indirectly for the betterment of the society.
Francis Sardauna in Katsina