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Ex-President Jonathan’s Education Budget Was Not Higher Than President Buhari’s!

Photo Credit: schoolofdata.org 3 mins read

CLAIM: Reno Omokri claimed that Goodluck Jonathan budgeted N424 billion for education; as against President Muhammadu Buhari- N48 billion.

FALSE: Information from the official site- Budget office– shows that the highest allocation for Education under President Goodluck’s tenure was in 2014 – over N495 billion. On the other hand, the current administration saw the highest allocation for the Education sector in 2019 – over N634 billion; the latter being significantly higher than the previous administration and which may be due to higher inflation rate. 

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Screenshot of Tweet

The tweet was obviously in response to a comment made by Prof Wole Soyinka recently in the story run by the Daily Post, headlined- Nigeria in trouble, education system dead – Soyinka.

In the report, he said that education in Nigeria is horrific, adding that the country is in trouble.

Verification

To start with, “education budget” refers to the total amount of money allocated to the education sector which comprises a number of MDAs and institutions – Ministry of Education, Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND), Universal Basic Education Board (UBEC) amongst others. Each institution (MDA inclusive) now has its own total budget that covers capital and recurrent allocation. Capital allocation is that money set aside for expenses incurred on infrastructures and acquisition of fixed capital assets; Recurrent allocation is money apportioned for personnel costs (salaries and usually completely spent) and overhead costs. Read this article for more information

More information: Expenditure is different from allocation. Allocation means money apportioned to an activity or institution, while expenditure means the actual money spent. Usually, expenditure is less than the amount initially allocated in the budget. To know more, see this fact-check.

Mr Omokri explicitly mentioned “education” in his tweet but did not state the period this occurred for either President. Hence, we will consider the total education budget for both presidents. 

Information from the Budget Office shows that at no single period was the sum of N424 billion itemised in the budget from 2010 to 2020, whether as a total education budget or for a particular MDA. This includes the previous administration and the current one. (Although a look at Budgit’s site shows a provision for N424 billion as the 2014 Education budget – a figure that contrasts that of the official budget agency)

Nevertheless, we discovered that the alleged education budget allocation of N48 billion is actually for capital expenditure in the 2020 appropriation bill, not the total education budget.

Education Budget Under Goodluck’s Administration

YEARTOTAL NATIONAL BUDGET (N)EDUCATION SECTOR ALLOCATION (N)PERCENTAGE (%) 
20114.23 TRILLION356.48 BILLION8.43
20124.74 TRILLION397.38 BILLION8.38
20134.92 TRILLION427.51 BILLION8.68
20144.64 TRILLION495.28 BILLION10.67

PMB’s Education Budget Allocations Till Date…

YEARTOTAL NATIONAL BUDGET (N)EDUCATION SECTOR ALLOCATION (N)PERCENTAGE (%)
20154.46 TRILLION483.18 BILLION10.83
20166.06 TRILLION480.27 BILLION7.93
20177.44 TRILLION448.44 BILLION6.51
20188.61 TRILLION605.79 BILLION7.04
20198.83 TRILLION634.56 BILLION7.18
202010.33 TRILLION490.20 BILLION4.75

Percentage Allocation for Education from the Total Budget

It is interesting to note that 2020 would be the lowest percentage allocation from the total budget for the Ministry of Education, in a decade! This is in line with the figures quoted by StatiSense; albeit with varying figures. We surmise they may have utilized data from other sources and not the Budget Office. 

What does this mean?

Frankly, it is appalling to think that only 4.75% of over 10 trillion was allocated to the Education sector for 2020. But what is equally appalling is the fact that such authoritative statements (as per the tweet) were based on faulty premises. N48 billion is just for capital expenditure, not the total education budget. And it is so unfair and misleading to compare an aspect to the total. Moreover, both administrations budgeted averagely similar amounts of money for the sector – amounts that are abysmally small when compared to the total national budget.

The figure N424 billion, on the other hand, just doesn’t exist! 

Conclusion

It would seem that Omokri misinterpreted the capital expenditure- N48 billion- under the allocation for the Ministry of Education, as the whole sum. More so, there is no evidence to show that N424 billion was ever budgeted for any given year, either by Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan or President, Muhammadu Buhari, at least from 2010 – 2020. 


This fact-check was done by a Dubawa Fact-checking Fellow in collaboration with The News Agency of Nigeria, a news reporting agency owned and run by the Federal Government of Nigeria with substantial reach and mobility across the 36 states of the country.

Ebere Agozie is a Senior Correspondent with the News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) with a staff strength of about 880, Joined in 2014 as a correspondent. Currently covering Agriculture and Environment beats from the headquarters of the Agency in Abuja. She had covered other beats including Culture and Entertainment, and Science and Technology, with reportage on different themes. Her works were aired on multiple networks through the NAN platform. She is also the winner of the 2018 COORDINATOR'S OPEN FORUM FOR AGRICULTURAL BIOTECHNOLOGY(OFAB) MEDIA AWARD FOR BEST PRINT REPORTER". Prior to joining NAN, she was the Operations Manager, AULIC Nigeria Limited, the concessionaire of the Lagos International Trade Fair Complex - 2012; Head, Public Relations and Corporate Affairs, Aulic Nigeria Limited from 2009 to 2012. She rose from the position of the Public Relations Officer to Head of Public Affairs at FABER Expressions, a Radio/Television Production firm – 2000-2009. She is a graduate of Mass Communications from the Institute of Management and Technology(IMT), Enugu, (HND) -1998. And holds a Master of Business Administration(MBA) from the Lagos State University (LASU) - 2007.

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