President Muhammadu Buhari has lamented the level of corruption in Nigeria’s educational system, stating that it makes it hard for young people to learn.
Buhari said corruption in the education sector and frequent strikes by ASUU are undermining the federal government’s investment in the sector.
He said critics downplay funding by focusing only on budgetary allocations and urged a more comprehensive re-evaluation of expenditure.
The president, who said this at the opening of the fourth national summit on “Diminishing Corruption in the Public Sector” at the State House, Abuja, yesterday, said measuring financing of education sector should include total education budget of each year by both federal and state governments and other financial commitments in their totality.
According to a statement by the presidential spokesman, Femi Adesina, the Summit was organised by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Office of Secretary to Government of the Federation (OSGF) and Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB).
“This year’s summit will mirror how corruption undermines educational policies, investments and creates an unfriendly learning environment for our youths.
“Incessant strikes, especially by unions in the tertiary education level, often imply that government is grossly underfunding education, but I must say that corruption in the education system from basic level to the tertiary level has been undermining our investment in the sector and those who go on prolonged strikes on flimsy reasons are no less complicit.
“The 1999 Constitution places a premium on education by placing it on the Concurrent List, thereby laying the responsibilities of budgeting and underwriting qualitative education on both the federal and state governments.
“The total education budget for each year is, therefore, a reflection of both federal and state budgets and should be viewed as other financial commitments in their totality.
“The allocation to education in the federal budget should not be considered via allocation to the Federal Ministry of Education and also academic institutions alone, but should include allocation to the Universal Basic Education, transfers to TETFUND and refund from the Education Tax Pool Account to TETFUND,’’ he said.