Nigeria’s Budgetary Allocation To Education, Lowest In West Africa -Osodeke

By Alice Etuka, Abuja

The National President, Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke has lamented the neglect of the education sector by successive governments, pointing out that Nigeria ranked lowest in education budgets across the West African subregion.

Osodeke stated this on Tuesday, May 14, 2024 at a One-day Sensitisation Workshop on Emerging Areas of Students Needs in Beneficiary Institutions held in Abuja.

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TheFact Daily gathered that the 2024 education budget failed to meet the recommendation of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) that member nations earmark 26 per cent of national budget to fund the sector.

The ASUU President called for an upward review of Education Tax to at least 10percent. This, he said, would increase TETFund funding from the current N600billion annually to N3trillion.

“We have done survey of West African countries. The least budgetary allocation to education by any country in West Africa is 15percent. The highest is 32percent. We are in a country where we give 4.5 to 7percent out of which less than 70percent is released. But the Awolowo government was allocating over 30percent to education”.

He applauded Enugu, Abia and Oyo states for earmarking more than 20 percent of their budgets to the education sector and hoped it would be replicated in other states and at the Federal level.

He accused most Vice Chancellors of unilaterally executing interventions without calling for stakeholders engagement as advised by the interventionist agency.

He said: “The TETFund inviting us as stakeholders to this meeting is an example of how it should be. But you remember that when you were allocating money to universities VCs, we agreed that they would call stakeholders meeting before that money is utilised. We had our National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting some days ago, less than 10 percent have called that stakeholders meeting.

“I want to plead that any university that does not take the stakeholders along should not be allowed to have access to the fund. The funds belong to the Nigerian people.

“Specifically, the N2.18trillion education budget for 2024, represents 7.85 per cent of the N28.7 trillion 2024 budget”.

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