Reacting to the 2017 budget where the Ministry of Education is projected to get the sum of N398.01billion in the recurrent expenditure, Dr Laja Odukoya, Chairman of Academic Staff Union of Universities, University of Lagos chapter, described the education budget as budget of hatred for the sector.
He said: “Clearly this government has a pathological hatred for knowledge and education. What other evidence do we need to confirm that the government is not willing, ready nor capable of resolving the crisis in the education sector.
‘’A government in deficit to the tune of N800 billion to universities for NEED assessment revitalization funds and over N60 billion as Earned Academic Allowances to lecturers budgeting a N398.01 b for the whole education sector should not be taken serious. Am afraid, there is crisis ahead.’’
Also speaking about the allocation to education sector, Prof Oyesoji Aremu, the Deputy Director, Distance Learning Centre, University of Ibadan, lamented that education has not been given adequate attention in the budget every year.
He said: ‘’Generally, education sector has not been receiving the desired budgetary allocation in Nigeria annually. As a matter of fact, it is always below the UN benchmark of 26 %. What this portends is that the sector is again, underfunded.
‘’While one would be somehow cautious on this, given the state of economy and the fallen crude oil price in the international market, the fact remains that education sector should be accorded greater attention in budgetary allocation as obtains in less privileged African countries. ‘
’It goes without saying therefore, that implications of the current budgetary allocation to the sector would rub up negatively in terms of overhead cost and infrastructural attention. Where these persist, it is the quality of education services that would be compromised.”