The budgetary allocation of N84billion to the Nigeria’s Education Sector is not sufficient enough to meet the demand of the country’s education sector.
The Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Education, Sonny Echono said this in Abuja when he received the House of Representatives Committee on Tertiary Education and Services, who visited on an oversight function.
Echono called for the total overhaul of the education budgeting process and full consideration for the improvement of allocations to the sector.
According to him, “the Eighty-Four Billion, Seven Hundred and Twenty-Eight Million, Five Hundred and Twenty-Nine Thousand, Five Hundred and Seventy-Two Hundred Naira (N84,728,529,572) the sector received in the 2020 Appropriation Act, cannot cater for the yearnings and challenges of the sector”.
“Budgetary allocations to the sector needs to be improved as the country’s tertiary institutions are plagued with a lot of challenges, including shortage of lecture theatres, hostel accommodation, obsolete laboratories and library facilities” he said.
Echono added that the sector is also faced with the lack of adequate security infrastructure in tertiary institutions and the non-completion of the National library headquarters complex.
He stressed that the challenges have hindered proper assimilation of knowledge that the institutions are supposed to impart to students.
The Permanent Secretary said that despite inadequate funding, a lot has been achieved in the development of the nation’s tertiary institutions.
He disclosed that to reduce or end strikes in the nation’s institutions, arrangements are ongoing to constitute visitation panels to deal with some of the challenges facing varsities with a view to finding lasting solutions to the problems.
Echono also revealed that the sum of N86billion has been paid to members of the academic unions of tertiary institutions as earned academic allowances between 2013 to 2019 financial years.
He also added that approval has been granted for a pension fund administrator to handle the pension and gratuities of staff of Nigerian universities.
In his remarks, Hon. Aminu Suleiman, Chairman of the House Committee on Tertiary Education and Services who also was the leader of the delegation said the visit was not for fault finding but to build synergy with the Ministry with the view of enhancing better service delivery in the nation’s tertiary institutions, within its limited resources.