EDUCATION BUDGET; EDUCATION AT THE BACK BURNER

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By Oluseye Temitope

Education they say is the bedrock of development in the society; this only makes sense to a country that is interested in human development of its populace. President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration does not seem interested in improving the education standards of the growing population of the country due to the meagre N102.91bn budgeted for education excluding N109.1bn allocated to the Universal Basic Education in the 2018 budget. The government allocated just 7.04% of the 2018 budget to Education which is less than 26% of the total budget as prescribed by UNESCO as the standard budget for education especially in a developing country like Nigeria whose population is growing at an astronomical pace daily.
This year’s allocation is more worrisome and should attract every stakeholder’s attention because it’s lower than the allocated sum for year 2017 in terms of its percentage (7.4%) though higher in terms of the monetary value as against the 2018 allocated sum.
The Ministries of Power, Works and Housing got N682.96bn; the highest chunk of the budget while the Ministry of Transportation got N251.4bn; followed by the Defence Ministry’s N157.72bn, all these increase in allocations of critical ministries deserves a path on the back of this administration due to the growing security issues in the country and its infrastructural deficit but a country that fails to educate its population is only preparing for the looming danger waiting ahead as a result of lack of human development amongst it populace.
It is no news that the world is fast moving away from Crude Oil which is our major source of revenue and without adequate investment in Human development in our teeming youths; this country could be faced with a shortfall in professionals and with this underfunding of the education sector, it is only natural to expect further deterioration of the education sector, with plenty of industrial strikes, production of half baked graduates that likely won’t be able to cope with their counterparts in other parts of the world.
Countries like Japan, Switzerland and Cyprus to mention just a few has and are still investing heavily in the education of their populace and the result of this human development is visible and overwhelming for all to see in terms of their technological advancement. The Nigerian government should take a cue from this, because soon Crude Oil would be useless and it’s only what the citizens produce in terms of technology that would serve as a cutting edge among the host of nations of the world.