Fashola Denies Allegations of Stealing W’Bank Education Funds
Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, has defended allegations that the state mismanaged the $90m loan given to it by the World Bank for improving educational standard.
He said the money was used for what it was meant, adding that the state could give account of how the fund was utilised.
He said this during the inauguration of a book titled, ‘Lagos Eko Project 2009-2013: A legacy of Excellence’, on Tuesday in Lagos.
Before the inauguration, the governor inspected the agricultural projects embarked on by the Vetland Secondary School, Agege.
Fashola said those criticising the state needed to be well informed about the policies of government, noting that a committee was set up to monitor the use of the fund.
He said, “You might have heard some people saying that we have stolen World Bank Eko Project money. This occasion is indeed very important to prove that we did not. The Eko Project money is not in our hands; it is in the hands of the schools. The principals and the schools don’t also act alone. They listen to a group, School Based Management Committee, before doing anything.
“It is a committee involving guardians, parents, teachers, and community members together planning what will be done in each budgetary year. So, no principal can spend money without the approval of the committee. Contrary to what some public commentators think, I think that if at all there was a fault, we can only take responsibility for not communicating enough.
“I will stand up to defend our principals and other public officers because it is an insult to their integrity and status.”
Fashola, who blamed the growing population for overcrowding in Lagos schools, explained that qualitative teachers were provided to tutor the pupils.
He said, “When you are worried about how it should be about overcrowding, you should know that we run free education here – from cradle to senior secondary school three.
“We have over one million pupils in our school system. So, this must be clear to those who want to engage in discussions and analyses. It is important also that as difficult as it may be, I can guarantee that even if the child was to learn under a tree, which is not our standard, the teacher that is instructing that child is a quality teacher.”
Special Adviser to the Governor on Lagos Eko Project, Ronke Azeez, noted that the book was to celebrate educational investment in the future of youths. (Punch)