■ Analysing the import of 2017 education budget: To meet its financial obligations to universities, ASUU, ASUP and COEASU, FG will need about N1396.6 billion
When compared with allocations to other ministries, on the surface, the N398.01 billion budget for current expenditure in the education sector, N50 billion and N92 billion allocated to capital expenditure and Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), respectively, bringing the total amount, both recurrent and capital, to N540.1 billion looks big and sounds big.
But not so when you compare it with the financial obligations it is supposed to address. Samples:
• N800 billion to universities for NEEDS assessment revitalization funds
• Over N60 billion Earned Academic Allowances to lecturers
• N495 billion accumulated arrears
• Over N40.8 billion Consolidated Tertiary Institution Salary Structure (CONTISS 15) arrears for Federal Polytechnics and Federal Colleges of Education.
When, therefore, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, President, Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), said he is in shock about the 2017 budgetary allocations for the education sector, and, Dr Laja Odukoya, Chairman, Academic Staff Union of Universities, University of Lagos chapter, described it as “budget of hatred for the education sector,” you should understand. It looks and sounds so big, but in reality it is so small.