The Taraba State Government said it has fulfilled its financial obligations by paying the full counterpart funding to the Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC.
A statement made available to journalists in Jalingo, the state capital by Commissioner of Education, Dr Augustina Godwin, said the state governor initiated the payment immediately after his swearing-in ceremony in June 2023, totalling a substantial sum of N1,395,784,959.14.
This is coming amidst a legal dispute spearheaded by human rights lawyer Femi Falana against the Federal Government and the 36 states, accusing them of neglecting their financial responsibilities to institutions supporting education like UBEC.
However, the Taraba State Government, through the Commissioner of Education, promptly rebutted the accusation, by emphasising that the state’s commitment to education is evident in its substantial investment.
Taraba State Attorney General, Maikasuwa Yakubu, also supported this stance, highlighting that Taraba State would not be part of the legal battle, having fulfilled its obligations.
He found it perplexing that a state actively prioritising education would be implicated in such litigation, noting that the 2024 budget allocated an impressive 24 per cent of total expenditure to education.
The commissioner who said Governor Agbu Kefas had earlier declared free education upon assuming office in the previous year, emphasised that this bold move has yielded remarkable results, nearly eradicating out-of-school children in the state and witnessing a 300 per cent surge in school enrolment by September.
The positive impact, she said, has even triggered the return of Taraba indigenes from other states, contributing to a boost in economic activities within the state.