The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has described the allocation of 5.6 per cent of the 2021 budget to education under President Muhammadu Buhari government as the worst in the last one decade.
Worried by the alleged neglect of the education sector in the 2021 budget and the high level of insecurity in the country, NANS said it was planning to organise a summit on how to arrest the drift in the two critical security and education sectors.
President of the association, Comrade Sunday Asefon, disclosed this in Ado Ekiti, yesterday, during a courtesy visit to the office of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Correspondents’ Chapel, Ekiti chapter.
“I condemn totally, the Federal Government’s 2021 budgetary provision to education. It was the worst in the last 10 years. The government only apportioned 5.6 per cent to the sector out of a total of N13.6 trillion budgetary provision.
“When you remove the percentage for basic education, what then becomes of the tertiary cadre? The percentage was ridiculous, low and disappointing. This is one of the challenges we are facing in the education sector,” he said.
Asefon said NANS, under him, would invest quality time to advocate for better funding of the education sector “which has been neglected because only the children of the poor attend public universities.”
On insecurity, Asefon described as shocking the kidnap of over 300 boarding students of the Government College, Kankara, Katsina State by gunmen, saying the abduction attested to the utter failure of governance in the country.
“I was shocked by the incident. I urge the Federal Government to do something urgent about this. When I was told that the Kankara students were kidnapped with motorbikes, I was not really happy. It shows we don’t have security around our campuses. Our students are being bullied and harassed by bandits across the North, that we won’t tolerate.
“Nigeria is richly blessed. If you look at our budget, billions of naira is being allocated to security sector. In spite of this, we are not secure. With the way things are today, Nigeria is sitting on a keg of gunpowder.
“We can borrow a leaf from Singapore, which had a lot of challenges like ours in the past, but overcame them with proper planning,” Asefon said.