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CSOs urge National Assembly to amend 2004 UBE Act

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Senate President, Lawal

Civil society organisations have urged the Ninth National Assembly to amend the Universal Basic Education Act (2004) to extend its coverage from Junior to Senior Secondary Education from nine to 12 years.

The COSs said the amendment will help guaranty compulsory, free, safe and quality education while providing schools with adequate running costs so as to eliminate hidden fees and levies imposed by school administrators.

Speaking at a joint media briefing organised by the Civil Society Action Coalition on Education For All (CSACEFA), Connected Development, Basic Rights Watch, Project Manager of BudgIT, Tolutope Agunloye, also charged federal and state governments to adequately utilise funds for education to develop the sector.

He noted that education budget performance was declining as funds meant for the sector are either not accessed or under-utilised by state governments.

He pointed out that the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, disclosed that the country recorded 10.19 million out of school children as in April 2019, which makes Nigeria one of the countries with a high number of out of school kids.

Agunloye lamented that states were not accessing the intervention fund from the Federal Government (UBE fund) to provide and improve basic education in Nigeria.

He also revealed that prior to the December 2018 UBEC data, the total amount un-accessed by state governments stood at N101b, which shows a lack of political will to provide quality basic education for their people.

“In 2018, the presidency released what the Muhammadu Buhari administration has achieved in the last three years. It was observed that little achievements were recorded in terms of funding as promised in the All Progressives Congress (APC’s) manifesto.

“Considering the budgetary allocation in the last four years from 2015 to 2018 shows that N2.07tr was been allocated to the sector, which is 7.67 percent of the N26.98tr budget for four years.

“The highest allocation the sector received was N483.1b, which is 10.8 per cent of 2015 N4.49tr budget. The percentage allocation has decreased over the years, 7.9 per cent, 6.2 per cent and 7.1 per cent in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

“The budget implementation report from 2015 to 2017 shows that capital allocation was N23.5b, N35.4b, N56.9b and N61.7b in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018. The amount utilized in 2015, 2016 and 2017 are N13.1b, N20.8b and N31.6b despite releasing N13.8b, N22.6b and N33.4b,” he stated.

He stressed that funding plays an important role in the education sector, as developments are tied to adequate funding.


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