2010 Budget: Group Demands 26% For Education

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The Education Rights Campaign (ERC) has rejected the 2010 Appropriation Bill passed by the National Assembly.

The group in a statement jointly signed by its National Coordinator and secretary, Messrs Hassan Taiwo Soweto and Chinedu Bosah which was made available to The Tide recently stated that the ERC rejected the appropriation bill because it was faked to adequately address funding of vital social services, particularly in the education sector.

The group called on the Acting President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan not to sign the 2010 appropriation bill into law until the allocation to education was increased to 26 per cent as recommended by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

“The 2010 budget was increased by about N529 billion, above the original amount sent for approval by the president. Every progressive minded Nigerian would have assumed that this large sum added to the budget would go into funding vital social services like education and health”, the document stated.

It continued, “unfortunately, this large sum is not reflected in allocation to the education sector and neither is it reflected in the allocation to health and other vital sectors.  In-stead, there have been steep increases in allocation to non-productive sectors and elephant projects like the constituency projects of the National Assembly members, etc.

The group noted that the sum allocated to the education sector fall short of the UNESCO recommendation of 26 per cent as well as the funding requirements contained in the agreement signed between the federal government and staff unions (ASUN, NASU and NAAT) on October 22, 2009.

According to the agreement, the federal government is mandated to allocate a total sum of N497.5 billion to the education sector as a step towards meeting the UNESCO recommendation of 26 per cent.

It noted that the sum of N529 billion with a capital component of N97.2 billion is not enough to confront the challenges of development  in the education sector.

“We demand 26 per cent budgetary allocation to education. We also demand that every governing councils and senate be composed of elected representatives of staff and student, student  unions in order to ensure accountability of all resources and for  the smooth running of the schools, the group stated.