The proposed allocation of N426.53billion to the sector takes only 8.67percent of the proposed total budget of N4.92trillion, whereas the UNESCO recommended for the allocation of 26percent of the total sector to the sector which is very vital to national development.
But even as the allocation only amounts to 0.24percent increase from the 2012 allocation of N400.15 billion, representing 8.43percent of the N4.7trillion total budget, some stakeholders are upbeat that if the money is approved, duly released and utilised judiciously, the sector would record significant improvement in infrastructure and other areas by next year.
Sofiri Peterside, a lecturer in the Department of Sociology and a fellow of the Centre for Advanced Social Sciences (CASS), in an interview with Business School, noted that even though the allocation is far below UNESCO’s recommendation, it nevertheless portends a brighter future for the sector if sustained.
“In terms of UNESCO’s recommendation, it is a far cry from it but in terms of previous budget, we see that there is an improvement even though it is not very significant, but if government can sustain the tempo, we are sure that next year the percentage will shore up a bit,” Peterside stated.
For the allocation to bring about the expected result, he said: “This is the first time in a long while that education is given this kind of attention. We hope that there won’t be difference between what is allocated and what is actually executed. Government should live up to expectation not only giving attention to the educational sector in terms of budgeting but also ensuing that the budget is followed religiously in implementation in the dimension that is envisaged.”
While describing the allocation as a step in the right direction, Chinwe Obaji, a former minister of education, said: “We are happy to see such a development coming to the education sector, depending on where the money will be applied to. We must also wait and see if the said amount will be released fully and the implementation carried out without a hitch.”