Education Funding ; ActionAid Nigeria eulogises PMB over scaling up spending to 50%>
God’swill Ojodomo lokoja.
ActionAid Nigeria has praised President Muhammadu Buhari for his commitment to increase the education spending by 50% over the next two years and up to 100% by 2025 , aiming at reaching 20% global benchmark for statutory allocation to the sector.
In a press Release signed by Eneh Obi, the Country Director of ActionAid Nigeria and made available to Treasuretimes , said president Muhammadu Buhari made the commitment at the global Education Summit GES, 2021 in London which was co-hosted by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta.
According to the statement ActionAid is looking forward to the next steps and actions to back up the President’s commitment, to address the numerous challenges confronting the education sector.
The Country Director reminded that Nigeria is a signatory to many international instruments on the delivery of quality education, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and as such, she expect to see a directive to all relevant government Ministries, Departments and Agencies to prioritize and commence the process of incremental budgeting to actualize the commitment.
“We are particularly delighted that the commitment responds to the call for Governments to take actions to increase the SHARE of funds allocated to and spent on free, quality, inclusive public education.
“This is very critical for the transformation of the sector and will help in placing the country on the path to sustainable education for all .She emphasised.
She explained that ActionAid was not encouraged by the trend analysis of the Federal Government Budget over the years stressing that the allocation to education has been on the declined .
“Whereas the size of the Federal Government budget has increased since 2016, the allocation to education has been on the decline, although the allocation to education in the overall 2021 FGN budget increased from 5.61% in 2020 to 5.68% in 2021, it was lower than the 7% attained in 2016, 2018 and 2019.
“It is no longer news that Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa, is home to the highest number of out-of-school children in the world (estimated at around 10.5 million) and evidence has shown that the Covid-19 pandemic and insecurity is increasing this number, hence the commitment of the President couldn’t have come at a better time.
“ActionAid Nigeria, therefore, calls on all arms of government to collectively push forward this commitment and ensure that necessary steps are taken to actualize the commitment” She expected .
The Country Director urged the Government to ensure it works with relevant organizations to enable greater scrutiny of future allocations by publicly publishing education budget and expenditure.
While looking to when the government will attain the SDG for education, she said it would be critical to not only increase the funding for education but also ensure that it is targeted at projects and programmes that are aimed at addressing the out-of-school phenomenon.
Eneh Obi suggested that these projects should made to target girls and other marginalized children to improve learning outcomes and increase the nations stock of human capital that can be transformed into job creation.
She therefore advise Governments at all tiers to provide qualitative gender based responsive public service facilities in all schools.