School education: A textbook opened before a Nigerian pupil in a local classroom setting. Image credit: unicef.org
Budget Allocation 2020: For every ₦2.64 spent on Nigerians’ education, ₦1 goes to the National Assembly (NASS)
UNESCO in 2015 recommended between 15 and 20% of national budgets for education in developing countries but Nigeria budgeted 6.66% this year
Ministries of Power and Transport get about half and Agriculture gets 70% of the Legislature’s budget
An analysis of the 2020 budget shows that around one-third of all that Nigeria budgets to spend on education this year (₦706.8 billion) will go to the National Assembly (NASS). This means that approximately for every ₦2.64 spent on Nigerians’ education, ₦1 goes to the National Assembly.
Based on the analysis of the2020 budget, it means that ₦3,534 (or ₦9.66 per day) is all that has been planned to be spent for each of the two hundred (200) million Nigerians on education this year. The total of ₦706.8 billion allocated to education is about 6.66% of Nigeria’s 2020 budget.
Further analysis of the budget on education revealed that the Ministry of Education will get statutory transfer of ₦131.7 billion which is split between the Universal Basic Education (UBE) Commission Funds (N111.7billion) and University Fund pegged at ₦20 billion.
That aside, a significant cut of the capital spending of the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), which stands at ₦84.7 billion, is for a flood of divisive projects that have the stamps of lawmakers on them.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Education for all Global Monitoring Report recommended between 15 and 20% of government expenditure through national budgets should be earmarked for education in developing countries. This was done in 2015.
But Nigeria’s ₦706.8 billion — about thrice the National Assembly (NASS) budget — allocation to the sector falls short of UNESCO’s recommendation.
With the recommended mark not met, 69% (₦490.3 billion) of the budgeted amount allocated to the sector is for settling bills, paying of salaries and so on.
Aside from other unstated allowances that Nigerian federal lawmakers have allocated to themselves, the ₦268 billion allocated for the National Assembly (NASS) in this year’s budget covers the legislature’s ₦128 billion recurrent expenditure; ₦100 billion Zonal Intervention/Constituency Projects; ₦1 billion for constitution review; ₦37 billion for the renovation of the National Assembly complex; and N2billion for the construction of National Assembly Library.
The funds budgeted for ministries of power (₦134.9 billion) and transport (₦134 billion) are about half while the ministry of agriculture (₦183.1 billion) is about 70% of the money budgeted to the legislature.