Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River has approved N1.2 billion counterpart fund to enable the State Universal Basic Education Board to access the Universal Basic Education Commission grant for 2017.
Dr Stephen Odey, the Executive Chairman of the board, disclosed this on Thursday while speaking with newsmen in Calabar.
He said that the board was awaiting the release of the fund after due processes had been completed.
Odey said: “The governor has given his approval for the release of our 2017 request for grant of N1.2 billion; so, we are just waiting for due processes to be completed.
“You are aware that for any state to access grant from UBEC, the state has to first pay its counterpart fund; so, that is where we are now.”
He said the board had utilised its N4 billion 2012-2016 grant by awarding contracts for 327 projects across the state.
He said: “Some of the projects include provision of computer systems, renovation of schools, provision of sports equipment, supply of 85,000 textbooks/instructional materials and 65,000 plastic chairs and tables.
“As I speak, most of our primary schools now operate computers with solar systems while sporting activities are being revived in schools across the state.”
Odey added that Ayade had also approved the recruitment of additional 1,000 primary school teachers, adding that the board had already conducted written tests for some applicants.
He said: “Also, we have completed the process for teachers’ promotion because primary school teachers were last promoted in 2009.
“But this has cost implications and we do not want to employ teachers and not pay them salaries regularly; we do not want to promote teachers without commensurate benefits.
“We have made proposals to the governor on all these, but because of the present financial situation in the state, he is taking his time on the matter.”