Gov. Isa Yuguda of Bauchi State on Monday appealed to the Federal Government to refund the N2.7 billion his administration spent on buying seven million text books.
Yuguda made the appeal when he received Nyesom Wike, the Supervising Minister of Education in Bauchi.
He said that the books which had been purchased since 2009 were distributed to public schools and tertiary institutions in the state.
He said that the state had not benefited from the textbooks distributed by the Federal Government to all the states of the federation.
“We spent close to about N2.7 billion to purchase close to seven million textbooks for our primary schools and tertiary institutions since 2009.
“It appears as if we have committed an offence for procuring these books. This is because we requested that we also get the books that were supplied to other states because our state is expanding.
“We did not get a refund from the Federal Government and we did not get the textbooks distributed to other states,’’ the governor said.
Yuguda said the state had security challenges, especially internally displaced persons (IDPs) of over two million who migrated in Bauchi state from the neighbouring states that were experiencing serious security challenges.
“We have built new secondary schools, including settlement of those for the IDPs, and we cannot afford to buy textbooks for these schools given the financial pressure of establishing the schools.
“So, we are appealing for either a refund so that we can get the books or we should be given books as were allocated to others states so that we can distribute to the schools in need of textbooks,’’ Yuguda said.
He commended the Federal Government’s intervention in the education sector through the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND), adding that Bauchi State was one of the beneficiaries.
Earlier, Wike said he was in the state to meet with vice chancellors, rectors and provost of various tertiary institutions in the North-East zone.
Wike said that the essence was for the heads of the various tertiary institutions to explain to the public how they had applied the TETFUND intervention funds.
“We are quite happy with what we have seen and if we continue like this in the next 10 years, our education sector will be completely transformed and will become something we will be proud of.
“For without education, this country will not get to anywhere’’ he said.