Education ministry gets 6.3% of 2021 budget


For the 2021 fiscal year, Nigeria has proposed to spend 6.3 percent of its 2021 national budget on the Federal Ministry of Education.

A copy of the budget proposal recently presented before the National Assembly and made available to shows that the ministry was alloted a sum of N742.5 billion out of the total N11.7 trillion budget.

These funds cover all departments and agencies within the Federal Ministry of Education as well as federal-owned unity colleges and tertiary educational institutions in the country.

A total of N615.1 billion is proposed to go into the recurrent expenditure of the ministry covering personnel and overhead costs while N127.3 billion is devoted to capital expenditure.

This is in the midst the seven-month old continuous closure of universities due to the industrial action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and such similar threats over infrastrasture and welfarism by other staff unions across public tertiary institutions in Nigeria.

That is aside the COVID-19 pandemic that is believed to crippled much of the education sector in 2020.

Also, Nigeria continues to rank the worst in terms of out-of-school children where one in five children not in school globally is from Nigeria.

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Highest education budget but still low

The 2021 budget proposal is the highest in recent years.

That of 2020 had the government budgeting N671.07 billion to the ministry.

In 2019, N620.5 billion was allocated to the education ministry while in 2018, it was N605.8 billion. Those of 2017 and 2016 were N550 billion and N369.6 billion respectively.

All these were in percentages between 4% and 7.05% of the budgets across the years.

This situation shows further that Nigeria continues to fall short of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) recommendations on education funding.

A UNESCO report proposed that governments allot between 15 and 20 percent of their annual budgets to education.

Ene Obi of the ActionAid Nigeria (AAN) has proposed that the Nigerian government look into increasing funding in the sector.

Obi who is the AAN Country Director of the non-governmental organisation also called on the government to ensure that funds are properly administered and ensure value for money. understands that the sum for the ministry is a part of the sum of funds that will be appropriated to the education sector in Africa’s biggest economy.

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It may not therefore be representative all government funding within the education sector in the country.

N141.9 billion of the 2021 budget is also proposed to be spent on its school feeding programme domiciled in the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development.

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