Coalition condemns diversion of bailout funds by some state governors

The Joint Education Stakeholders Action Coalition (JESAC) has condemned the diversion of bailout funds meant for the payment of salary arrears by some state governors.

Mr Ike Onyechere, the National Coordinator of JESAC, slammed the governors while speaking at the 7th Strategic Planning Committee meeting of member organisations on Thursday in Abuja.

Onyechere alleged that many state governors had not utilised the bailout funds released to them by the Federal Government as some states still owed teachers salary arrears.

He attributed the diversion of the funds to resource scarcity, calling on stakeholders in the education sector to unite and save the sector from collapse.

“It is time for stakeholders to come together and save the sector, particularly now that the resources are no longer there, to the extent that even when monies are disbursed for bailout funds, some of the governors embezzle them.

“We believe that it is going to be a disaster if people misappropriate funds and there are no consequences.

“We believe that there can only be consequences if we come together, because education has the population.

“ I will be deeply sad in my heart and give up on my efforts to boost the sector, if a governor that has not paid salary for six months is re-elected as governor.

“If we don’t fight for ourselves, nobody will do it; let’s use the population we have in the sector to elect education-friendly leaders in the country.’’

Onyechere noted regrettably that many challenges bedevilling the sector in the area of leadership, policy, funding, governance and corruption, among others, were not being addressed.

He further urged stakeholders to participate in the political process of the country with a view to addressing the challenges facing the sector.

He stressed that there was urgent need to elect education friendly leaders with the courage to champion total reform and reconstruction of education, to deliver the necessary knowledge for national development.

NAN reports that JESAC was established in 2010 with the aim of providing platforms and facilitation for education stakeholders to move away from being passive political watchers to being proactive playmakers and game changers that can transform education at all levels.

It would be recalled that the Federal Government had doled out billions of naira to bailout states facing severe financial difficulties to enable them to pay backlog of salaries.

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