The Minister of Education in Nigeria, Prof. Tahir Mamman, has announced a significant boost in funding for education, with the Federal Government planning to increase it by 25%. This exciting development was shared during the Nigeria Annual Education Conference (NAEC) in 2021 and 2022, themed “Implementation of Education 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Nigeria.” The conference took place in Abuja and brought together a range of stakeholders from the education sector.
Prof. Mamman emphasized the government’s commitment to addressing the critical issue of out-of-school children in the country. He stated that President Bola Tinubu had given a directive for the return of the 10.5 million out-of-school children to school, highlighting the need for concrete actions to bridge the gap between education policy statements and their practical realization. The Minister underscored the importance of translating policies into tangible results that positively impact the lives of Nigerian children.
He stressed that the focus should be on creating future training opportunities for children, enabling them to lead dignified lives and become employers of labor. Prof. Mamman also emphasized the significance of equipping basic and secondary schools properly, as these institutions play a pivotal role in nurturing creativity and research from the grassroots level.
To ensure the successful achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in education, Prof. Mamman called for robust mechanisms to monitor and evaluate policy implementation continually. He called on stakeholders within the education sector, both at the federal and state levels, to collaborate closely with the Federal Ministry of Education and its agencies.
The conference witnessed pledges of support from various education stakeholders, demonstrating their commitment to advancing the education roadmap outlined by the Minister. These stakeholders included the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Education, who called for collaborative efforts, and James O’Donoghue, the Education Adviser of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) of the United Kingdom. O’Donoghue pledged support for Nigeria in achieving the 2030 SDG agenda and ensuring quality education for every child. He urged the Nigerian government to increase funding for education and ensure that allocated funds are directed toward the overarching objectives of education.
The Federal Government’s decision to increase education funding by 25% comes after the United Nations recommended that Nigeria allocate 20% of its budget to education to achieve SDG 4 – universal, inclusive, and equitable basic education for all by 2030. Historically, Nigeria’s budgetary allocation to the education sector has fallen below the recommended benchmark for developing nations.
In the 2023 budget, education received N1.79 trillion, accounting for 8.2% of the total budget. This allocation was further subdivided into various categories, including the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), the Tertiary Education Fund (TETFUND), and tertiary education revitalization and salary enhancement.
While the budgetary allocation for education did not reach the recommended 20% in the 2023 budget, it remained the second-largest allocation after the security and defense sectors. This significant step toward increased education funding offers hope for the revitalization and improvement of the education sector in Nigeria, ultimately benefiting the nation’s future generations.