#BounceExclusive: Why Is Govt Determined To 'Kill' Nigeria's Future Leaders?
Nigeria's education system is like a human being whose blood has been consistently sucked by existential vampires.
In exchange she is given a few tabs as supplements in deception that she will produce healthy blood cells to replace the lost pints.
The acclaimed 2018 Budget of Consolidation is worth 8.612 trillion Naira.
The government has confidently allocated 435.01 billion Naira (Recurrent expenditure) and 61.73 billion Naira (Capital expenditure) to the Education Sector.
The amount is less than what it was in the 2017 Budget – 540.01 billion Naira (Recurrent expenditure) and a 50 billion Naira (Capital expenditure).
An allocation of 496.74 Billion Naira to the education sector is just 5.77% of the budget. It seems they think education is optional and not so important.
After the allocation to the education sector in the 2017 Budget was put before the National Assembly, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and other education experts expressed concern.
ASUU President, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, had described that allocation as a betrayal of trust after an agreement was reached that there would be a significant improvement in sums allotted to preserve the nation's youth.
I hope the government remembers the unions are watching.
There is an increase from 50 billion to 61.73 billion Naira capital expenditure, but that falls far short of what it takes to revive Nigeria’s education sector to give it a pride of place internationally.
Of the amount voted, the cost of paying salaries and other bills far exceeds the one voted for capital projects that will improve infrastructure and add value to the lives of students.
It is just 14.19% of the total amount allocated to education.
A lecturer in Nnamdi Azikiwe university in Anambra State spoke toBounce News but preferred to remain anonymous.
He lamented that the current allocation is a slap on the face of young Nigerians who are hoping to get their lives transformed through education.
"It is a shame and this further reveals how unserious Nigerian government is. A country cannot develop beyond the level or scope of its education.
Also Read: See The Breakdown Of Proposed 2018 Budget
"If the government is reducing rather than increasing its allocation to education, the country is doomed. Many lecturers don't have offices, resource materials or functional libraries. Many universities don't have good libraries, science laboratories let alone teaching facilities. Yet, it does not bother the government.
"To conduct a fresh research in social sciences, a lecturer requires 2 million Naira and above and the cost will depend on the study scope," he told Bounce News.
In addition, he wondered how lecturers are expected to get funds for research and other engagements that would in turn add value to the quality of knowledge they pass on to students.
According to him, no lecturer from his department attended a conference held recently in Ibadan because they could not officially afford it.
This amount allocated to the education sector leaves Nigerian graduates empty without a grasp of what current trends in their various fields are.
So many of them have been referred to as unemployable people, lacking skills and knowledge required to solve contemporary challenges.
This budget will trickle down to further worsen the situation, critics say.
ASUU had threatened that it would embark on a fresh industrial action while the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics has also said it would begin strike soon.