Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has said contrary to public opinion, the Nigerian education system is well funded considering the lean resources of the federal government.
Speaking at the book presentation of “Gamaliel Onosode Classicus, an Honourable Life” and discussion on “Harnessing Nigeria’s Greatest Resource: Growth through Education”, Gbajabiamila said the education sector is getting more funding than people acknowledge.
Gbajabiamila who noted that the resources of the government is currently lean, and what could be done is being done, said the funding of the sector is however not enough as it is still not up to the 23 per cent provision advised by UNESCO.
“When people see the funding of the education sector by the federal government of Nigeria, many look at the budget of the ministry of education, but education in Nigeria is funded beyond the ministry of education.
Many forget that there is the Universal Basic Education (UBEC), the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND), there is funding from the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and there are interventions from constituency projects.
“When you put these interventions together we will be looking at a larger percentage of what the federal government is putting into education in Nigeria. That is not to say that it is enough because it is not close to the 23 per cent of UNESCO provision.
“But it is important not to isolate the ministry of education as to what government is spending on education. There are other areas and we will continue to provide opportunities to fund education. However we must understand that resources are lean and things are not how they used to be in terms of resources.”
In his goodwill message, the British Deputy High Commissioner, Ben Llewellyn-Jone, urged the country to spend more on education and health rather than on fuel subsidy. Noting that universal healthcare and universal basic education has been the foundation of the development and growth in the United Kingdom over the last 500 years he said, “at a time of fiscal challenge it may be right to look again at expense and indeed fuel subsidy for example takes so much.
In her keynote address, the deputy Vice-Chancellor of the Pan African University, Lagos, Prof. Enase Okonedo, noted that there is a need for the curriculum used in all levels of education in the country to be revised as the current one being used has not been useful in turning out employable graduates.