Why Gov’ts Should Borrow To Fix Education
13 February 2020 National News
Education under the federal and state governments is mainly financed from domestic revenues as well as grants, allocations and philanthropists contributions but with dwindling revenues, authorities have resorted to approving billions of naira in borrowing to fund the sector.
About a week ago, the federal government pledged to release N220 billion to states with a high number of out-of-school children.
Minister of State for Education Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, who made the assertion in Yola, the Adamawa State capital, at the launch of the Better Education Service Delivery for All (BESDA) programme in the state said, “The fund is a credit facility from the World Bank to Nigeria”.
It is disbursed to the states as grant to fight the scourge of out-of-school children as well as strengthen basic education in their respective jurisdictions.
Nwajiuba stated that the objective of the BESDA programme was to ensure that all out-of-school kids accessed and completed education, improved literacy and strengthen accountability at the basic education level.
The minister said the programme is focused on the 17 states which include the 13 states of the North West and North East and Oyo, Ebony and Rivers states.
Selection of the states was based on the prevalence of the scourge, he added.
Meanwhile, following the declaration of free and compulsory basic education, Kano State government is seeking the approval of the state House of Assembly to borrow N15 billion to fund the policy.
According to the letter of request sent to the state lawmakers by Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, each of the 44 local government areas of the state would access fund to the tune of N340 million to ensure the sustainability of the policy.
The loan, expected from Guaranty Trust Bank, is to be repaid within 30 months with 15 per cent interest and would be deducted from the monthly federation allocation of each local government area.
According to the action plan, the loan would be used to construct new classrooms and rehabilitate old ones to reduce overcrowding, support the provision of free uniforms for pupils as well as the free feeding programme, the Chairman, House Committee on Local Government, Kabiru Hassan-Dashi said.
The letter was read by the Speaker, Abdulazeez Garba Gafasa, before it was transferred to the House Committee on Local Government which deliberated within two days and gave the governor the nod to collect the loan.