NUJ, lawmaker task FG on more budgetary allocation to sector

Budget

The Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) has called for more budgetary allocation to the education sector to position the nation for development.

The union lamented that the seven percent allocated to the sector is against the 26 percent recommended by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

President Muhammadu Buhari had last week presented a budget proposal of N8.6 trillion for the 2018 fiscal year to the joint session of the National Assembly. In the proposal, education sector got only 7.04 per cent, which was lower than what was earmarked in 2017.

The global organisation had recommended the budgetary benchmark to enable nations adequately cater for rising education demands. The total sum allocated to the sector is N605.8 billion, with N435.1 billion for recurrent expenditure, N61.73 billion for capital expenditure and N109.06 billion for the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC). The allocation was lower than the 7.4 per cent the government gave the education sector in the N7.4 trillion 2017 budget.

Rising from its congress, the NUJ in a communiqué by Ajibola Abayomi noted that for the nation to compete favorably with the rest of the world, education must be given topmost priority.

Similarly, a lawmaker in the Lagos State House of Assembly, Olusola Sokunle has also frowned at the allocation saying the sector is one of the major pillars that foster the development of any nation.

Sokunle posited that if the education sector is given attention like the other sectors of the economy, the nation would be better off.

He said: “Standardising the educational system of the country is not only the responsibility of government but also of parents and professional teachers who should see themselves as development agents in the changing phase of the sector.

Sokunle while addressing beneficiaries of his free computer training programme urged them to positively make use of the skills and knowledge acquired for both the nation and individual development, adding that most economic activities across the world are carried out using information technology.

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