A sum of N691.07 billion constituting 6.7% has been allocated to the Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Education in the 2020 national budget.
This is based on details contained in the Appropriation Bill EduCeleb.com obtained from the Budget Office of the Federation.
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari had presented a budget proposal of N10.33 trillion before a joint session of the National Assembly last Tuesday.
Tagged the “Budget of Sustaining Growth and Job Creation”, the budget estimate is of the highest ever since Nigeria’s independence.
A sum of N4.88 trillion was earmarked for recurrent expenditure and N2.14 trillion for capital expenditure.
Also, N556.7 billion will be statutory transfers to specific government agencies while N2.75 trillion would go into debt servicing.
Beyond these, N2.45 trillion was dedicated to debt servicing while N296 billion was provided for Sinking Fund to retire maturing bods issued to local contractors.
Education ministry budget
Of the N671.07 billion allocated to the Federal Ministry of Education, the sum includes the statutory transfer allocated to the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), which is N111.79bn.
Within the total estimates, the ministry would be getting N490.2 billion for recurrent expenditure and N50.95 billion for capital expenditure.
The sums are meant to adequately cater for the 28 parastatals as well as 37 federal universities, 25 federal polytechnics, 21 federal colleges of education and 104 federal unity schools directly under its care.
Also, N13.63 billion would go into universities pension including arrears just as professors would be getting N4.5 billion from the benefits allocated to retired senior personnel such as heads of service and permanent secretaries.
In addition to these, N20 billion was allocated to provide additional support for universities.
Comparison with earlier years
N620.5 billion, which is 7.05% of the total estimate was allocated to the education ministry in the 2019 budget.
The ministry got allocated only 7.04% or N605.8 billion in the 2018 proposal, 7.4 % or N550 billion of that of 2017 and 4% or N369.6 billion in 2016.
Compared with all these, the 2020 education budget is higher than others in sum but lower in percentage to the entire estimate.
In all, it appears lower than the recommendations by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
A UNESCO report recommended that 15 to 20 percent of governments’ budgets be allocated to education.
Scholars have at various fora called on governments at all levels to increase education funding for better results.
While the estimates given above are limited to the education ministry, EduCeleb.com notes that education funding in Nigeria extends to some other ministries, departments and agencies that support the education sector.