Wike, who stated this in Abuja at the opening of the 20th Nigerian Economic Summit, said that the money was given as grants to states to assist them in funding basic education.
He said that although basic education was the responsibility of states and local government, the Federal Government had since 2005 been dedicating two per cent of its education vote for assistance to the states.
He disclosed that the Federal Government started supporting the funding of basic education after the revision of the National Policy of Education as recommended by the Presidential Task Team on Education.
According to him, the provision of the Universal Basic Education (UBE) Act, 2004 had implications for the education sector, particularly for the provision of universal access to education at primary and junior secondary schools.
The minister explained that the grant to the states was for the purpose of providing uniform and qualitative basic education around the country.
He said that the UBE Commission had been operating as an intervention, coordinating and monitoring entity “to progressively improve the capacity of states and local governments for quality basic education.’’
He said that during the period, the country recorded increase in enrolment of pupils in school and attributed it to sensitisation and mobilisation carried out by UBEC.
He added that the Federal Government also invested in the training of 42,580 primary school teachers during the period.
“The impact of these investments has been seen in the improved quality pre-service teacher training activities.
“The in-service teachers’ upgrading and training programmes have also made impact in the quality of teachers in the basic education schools,” he said.
Wike, however, stated that the major challenge of basic education in the country was inadequacy of funds available for curriculum and instructional material development activities. (NAN)