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Budget: Don urges NASS to re-prioritise allocation to education sector

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A university lecturer, Prof. Job Nmadu, has urged the National Assembly to re-prioritise 2022 budgetary allocation to the education sector as it commences budget defence.

Nmadu, who is Dean School of Agriculture and Agricultural Technology, Federal University of Technology, Minna, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) on Thursday in Abuja.

He said that the allocation of N1. 29 trillion to the education sector, representing 7.9 per cent of the 2022 budget of N16.39 trillion, was inadequate considering the numerous challenges facing the sector.

The don said, while education made one of the sectors with the highest budgetary allocations, N1.29 trillion was still grossly inadequate.

“ Quite honestly, whatever is provided in the budget is welcome.

“ However, if we must achieve the desired developmental goals, the ideal focal point is an investment in education.

“ My candid opinion is that the National Assembly should re-prioritise the 2022 budget now that budget defence has commenced and made an enhanced allocation to sectors like education,” he said.

Nmadu said that prioritising education would guarantee a return on investment, adding that investment in education was long-term and highest in the long run.

Nmadu noted that besides inadequate manpower, the education sector had different levels of infrastructure need that required huge funds to meet.

He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for coming up with programmes that would be beneficial to the sector as well as the promise to fund education budget up to 50 per cent in coming years.

He, however, said improved funding to the sector would go a long way in repositioning it while improving the economy in general.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that President Muhammadu Buhari on Oct. 7, presented the 2022 Budget Proposal of N16.39 trillion to a joint session of the National Assembly.

The budget is tagged, Budget of Economic Recovery and Sustainability.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Finance and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, announced the allocation of N1.29 trillion, representing 7.9 per cent of the total budget to the education sector.

She made the announcement at the public presentation and breakdown of the highlights of the 2022 Appropriation Bill at the ministry’s auditorium in Abuja on Oct. 8.

From the breakdown, the education budget followed closely behind that of Defence and Security, which is N2.41 trillion or 15 per cent of the total budget while infrastructure is N1.4 trillion or 8.9 per cent of the budget.

The health budget followed behind education with N820 billion representing five per cent of the budget, among others.

NAN further reports that the 2022 budgetary allocation to the education sector is more than that of 2021, which was N742.5 billion and 5.6 per cent of the total budget of that year.

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