President Muhammadu Buhari has pledged that Nigeria will increase its budget for education as a sign of commitment to its citizens.
The 78-year-old made the pledge at the Global Education Summit on Financing Global Partnership for Education (GPE) 2021-2025 in London, the United Kingdom on Wednesday, July 28, 2021.
He said Nigeria will progressively increase annual domestic education expenditure by 50% over the next two years, at the end of which his second term tenure will end.
The president also committed Nigeria to increase the annual expenditure by up to 100% by 2025, beyond the 20% global benchmark.
“We fully endorse the call for more efficient use of resources and to significantly increase investment in education by strengthening institutions, promoting greater adoption of technology, building the capacities of our teachers, and mobilizing additional financial resources through legal frameworks and deliberate intervention on a sustainable basis,” he said.
Since he was elected president in 2015, the Buhari administration has allocated less than 10% of its annual budget to education, well below the benchmark recommended by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
He has also failed to tackle age-long issues facing the education sector, including a significant reduction of Nigeria’s population of out-of-school children, the highest in the world.
Insecurity has further complicated that problem, with more than 1,500 students abducted from schools by terrorists since 2018, a trend that escalated since last December.
The abductions have led to the closure of numerous schools in affected states, especially in the northern region of the country.
Buhari said at the London summit, co-hosted by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, that nations of the world must build a more secure and prosperous future for children.