By Olawale Ibrahim, Lokoja
An International non-governmental organization, ActionAid has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the objective to reach the global benchmark of 20per cent of public allocation and expenditure to education.
Buhari had vowed to increase education spending by 50per cent over the next two years and up to 100per cent by 2025.
This was contained in a statement signed by the Country Director, ActionAid Nigeria, Ene Obi, copy of which was made available to newsmen in Lokoja on Friday.
The statement said that the commitment was made at the Global Education Summit in London which was co-hosted by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Obi stressed further that ActionAid is looking forward to the next steps and actions to back up the President’s commitment to addressing the numerous challenges confronting the education sector.
She added that Nigeria is a signatory to many international instruments on the delivery of quality education, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), noting that Actionaid expects to see a directive to all relevant government Ministries, Departments and Agencies to prioritize and commence the process of incremental budgeting to actualize the commitment.
“We are particularly delighted that the commitment responds to the call for Governments to take actions to increase the share of funds allocated to and spent on free, quality, inclusive public education.
“This is very critical for the transformation of the sector and will help in placing the country on the path to sustainable education for all.
“Following the trend analysis of the Federal Government Budget by ActionAid Nigeria over the years, the allocation to education has declined relatively.
“Whereas the size of the Federal Government budget has increased since 2016, the allocation to education has been on the decline, although the allocation to education in the overall 2021 FGN budget increased from 5.61per cent in 2020 to 5.68per cent in 2021, it was lower than the 7per cent attained in 2016, 2018 and 2019.
“It is no longer news that Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa, is home to the highest number of out-of-school children in the world (estimated at around 10.5 million) and evidence has shown that the Covid-19 pandemic and insecurity is increasing this number, hence the commitment of the President couldn’t have come at a better time.
“ActionAid Nigeria, therefore, calls on all arms of government to collectively push forward this commitment and ensure that necessary steps are taken to actualize the commitment, Actionaid noted