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N600bn owed to education in 2018, says Osinbajo



Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, says over N600 billion has been owed to the education sector in 2018.

Osinbajo disclosed this at the opening ceremony of a two-day Stakeholders’ Workshop on Sustainable Funding for Education in Nigeria held on Tuesday at the Presidential Villa Banquet Hall, Abuja.

The workshop was organised by the Federal Ministry of Education in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Finance.

He said that in spite of the difficult economic situation when President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration came on board, the Federal Government made sure that funding of education was not neglected.

“We were able to increase capital allocation to education; for instance, in the Federal Budget, capital allocation was increased from N23.53 billion in 2015 when we came.

“In the budget that we did, we took up the capital allocation to N35.99 billion in 2016.

“Then in 2017, we took it to up to N56. 81bn and this year, the current capital budget on education is N102.9 billion.

“So, this shows a substantial increase in education budget; in addition, there is the UBEC funding which in 2018 amounted to N109.86 billion.

“In fact, if you include the recurrent budget, the amount allocated to education by the Federal Government this year is more than N600 billion.’’

Represented by the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, Osinbajo said that additional funds were also made available through the Tertiary Education Trust Fund.

He said, however, that the amounts were still insufficient to provide the high-quality education which the administration was determined to give to all Nigerians; hence the importance of the stakeholders’ workshop.

Osinbajo said that stakeholders must seek ways of increasing funding to education from all the tiers of government–the Federal Government, State and Local Governments.

“While government funding is important and critical, it is not the only source of funding for education.”