Written by Godfrey AKON

2018 Unity Schools’ budget slashed by N3 billion

Despite high infrastructural deficit and surging insecurity in the 104 Federal Unity Colleges across the country, their 2018 budget has been slashed by N3 billion by the National Assembly.

President Muhammadu Buhari, who disclosed this in Abuja after signing the 2018 Appropriation Bill into law, said the N3 billion was part of funds allocated for the provision of security infrastructures in the schools.

Nigeria’s education budget for 2018 was N605.8 billion, representing about 7.4 per cent of the N9.1 trillion annual budget passed by President Buhari last Wednesday. With the N3 billion cuts, the education budget declined to N602.8 billion. 

A breakdown of the appropriation shows that N435.1 billion was allocated for recurrent expenditure, N61.73 billion for capital expenditure and N109.06 billion for the Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC.

However, Buhari noted that “the National Assembly made cuts amounting to 347 billion Naira in the allocations to 4,700 projects submitted to them for consideration and introduced 6,403 projects of their own amounting to 578 billion Naira.”

“The provision for security infrastructure in the 104 Unity Schools across the country were cut by 3 billion Naira at a time when securing our students against acts of terrorism ought to be a major concern of government,” he said.

Recall that in April 2018, the Federal Government inaugurated a central Planning committee on security education and awareness campaign for principals and teachers of federal government colleges, as part of measures to secure the schools.

Schools in some parts of Nigeria had become targets of insurgents and criminal gangs with the Federal Government College in Buni Yadi, Yobe State, having its share of violent invasion by Boko Haram in 2014 where about 50 students were killed.

Similarly, on February 19, 2018, Nigeria woke up to the shocking news of the abduction of 110 school girls from government science school Dapchi, Yobe State by Boko Haram; just as it reminded everyone of the April 14, 2014 abduction of Chibok girls by the same group.

 

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