10.33 Trillion Naira 2020 Budget-48 Billion Naira is a token for Nigeria’s Education sector-Prof Olagoke
A meager N48billion has been allocated to the Education sector out of the over N10 Trillion 2020 National budget of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. This allocation is without consideration to the falling standard of education, bad state of infrastructure and the shortage of manpower.
It is however surprising that the National Assembly will recieve N37 Billion for renovation of its entire complex.
In this interview with People, the Founder, Spiritual Head and Grand Imam of Shafaudeen-in-Islam Worldwide, Prof. Sabitu Olagoke insists that the allocation to the education is insignificant considering the 10.33 Trillion budget esitmate. Excerpts :
Do you think that N48 Billion shall be able cater for the myriad of challenges confronting the education sector in Nigeria ?
It is highly embarrassing to discover that Nigerians are not dreaming, but are faced with the stark reality of the times, when the paltry allocation to the education sector out of N10.33 Trillion budgeted for the nation is only N48 Billion and the Legislators in the National Assembly in their wisdom recommended a huge sum of N37 Billion for the renovation of the National Assembly complex, as if to say that there is so much money in the country and that education is inconsequential to the development of the children and youth and the development of the nation at large. The question that would follow is what is the rational behind the decision of the Legislature and the Executive on the allocation to this all important sector? This is at variance with the United Nations affirmation of 26 per cent benchmark allocation of any country’s budget to education.
The N37 Billion allocated for the renovation of the National Assembly complex at this critcal period of the country’s economy, when one quarter of the budget has been set aside for debt management, does not seem to be reasonable and it has portrayed both arms of government as irrational in their decision.
N37 Billion with good economic action plan could have generated more job opportunities or standardization and establishment of more medical centers across the nation for better health care delivery, but this may not give room for self enrichment or direct filling of our leaders’ purses through the network of Serve Self First, Before I finally serve you concept which all Nigerians hypocritically condemn.
Presently, the general atmosphere is not conducive for learning, cases of pupils and students sitting on the bare floor is rampant.
Secondly, most schools do not have toilet facilities. What is the Federal, State and Local governments doing about this ?
Thirdly, there is the issue of out of school children that is yet to be resolved. Most schools lack infrastructure, furniture and strucutures, this is in additon to the shortage of qualified Teachers.
Furthermore laboratories, workshops and accompanying materials are inadequate in most of the schools.
There is also the factor of capacity building through training and retraining.
With due consideration to the above mentioned would the N48 Billion be able to cater for all these needs in all the educational institutions owned by the Federal Government ? What about those in the 36 states ?
A general assessment of the breakdown of the budget shows that most of the contents reflect areas where the politicians would be able to make gains, at the detriment of the peoples’ welfare.
The budget is supposd to be people friendly to the extent that it would result in self fulfillment by the citizens.
The nation itself is now an object of ridicule among the comity of nations. Who will rescue Nigeria from its ‘’captors” ?