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The Senate has urged stakeholders in the Nigeria’s education sector to ensure a higher performance in the execution of capital projects contained in the 2017 budget even as it said that it was prepared to address the problem of shortfall in the budgetary allocation to the sector by the Federal Government in the proposed budget.
The chairman of the Senate Committee on Basic and Secondary Education, Senator Aliyu Magatakarda Wamakko, made the disclosure during a meeting with representatives of the Ministry of Education and various departments and agencies under it on how to promote education in the country beginning from this year.
The committee further lamented what it described as unimpressive performance of capital projects by the MDAs in the education sector in the outgoing 2016 fiscal year, attributing the problem to late release of funds and bureaucratic bottlenecks.
Wamakko said it was time Nigeria developed different immediate strategies for rescuing the education sector in Nigeria, insisting that timely delivery of capital projects in the sector with adequate funding serves as a way out.
The committee chairman added that the government was determined to set the tone for improving education in Nigeria, a reason it increased the allocation to the sector in the 2017 budget by 10.05 percent.
He noted thaf the total budget allocation proposed for Education in 2007 was N448, 443,102, 615, with additional N92, 456, 040, 046 allocated as statutory transfer to the Universal Basic Education (UBEC), bringing the overall proposed budget to N540, 899, 142, 661.
According to him, while the amount voted for the Education sector in the 2016 Budget stood at N480, 278, 214, 688, the government in the 2017 budget added the sum of N57, 232, 765, 766 amounting to 10.05 increase to address the shortfall in the total allocation to the sector.
He charged the heads of MDAs to reciprocate the gesture by the government by working hard and improving their performances towards raising education standard in the country.
Wamakko said, “It is pertinent to assert the need to increase capital cost to MDAs to ensure meaningful development in the Education Sector. The Committee hopes to look into issue of unnecessary shortfall in capital costs in order to reposition our institutions and provide enviable learning environment for our children.
“There is need to advise the MDAs to remit their internally generated revenues to the federal treasury. Utilisation of part of your IGR should be justified and evidence of payment advice should be submitted on regular basis to the Committee.”
In attendance at the meeting were representatives of the Federal Ministry Of Education, Universal Basic Education Commission, Teachers Registration Council of Nigeria, National Mass Literacy Commission, the Joint Admission and Matriculations Board (JAMB), West African Examination Council (WAEC)-National, WAEC-International, NABTEB, National Teachers Institute (NTI), National Commission for Nomadic Education and Federal Government Colleges, among others.