Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari has pledged to increase education spending by 50% over the next two years and up to 100% by 2025 in order to reach the global benchmark of 20% of public expenditure allocated to education.
This was the decision reach at the Global Education Summit in London which was co-hosted by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta.
A statement by British High Commission on Friday also revealed that during the summit, President Buhari joined a panel session on Financing for Transformation where himself and other Heads of State of GPE partner countries discussed the way forward for transforming education outcomes.
According to the statement, the two-day hybrid event brought together leaders from governments, businesses, private foundations and development banks to commit funding and support to children’s education in the world’s lowest-income countries.
The statement quoted UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to have said during the summit that: “The funds raised at this Summit will transform the lives of millions of children around the world. The UK was proud to contribute £430 million to the Global Partnership for Education and it is fantastic to see others step up and contribute to the goal of ensuring a quality education for every child.”
President Muhammadu Buhari stated was quoted to have said: “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 interventions on sustainable basis”
“We commit to progressively increase our annual domestic education expenditure by 50% over the next two years and up to 100% by 2025 beyond the 20 per cent global benchmark.”
Reacting on the turn of event, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Laing, said: “I am very pleased to learn about President Buhari’s commitment to increase Nigeria’s education budget by 50% over the next two years. This is an ambitious commitment and a game changer. We highly welcome that Nigeria is looking to prioritise expenditure in the education sector in order to move to a future where every child in Nigeria can receive quality education.”
Meanwhile over US$4 billion was raised at the summit from donors for the Global Partnership for Education (GPE).
This fundraising total puts GPE firmly on the path to achieving its target of raising at least $5 billion over the next five years to transform education for millions of the world’s most vulnerable children.
A fully funded GPE would enable up to 175 million children to learn and help get 88 million more girls and boys in school by 2025.
President Buhari and 18 other Heads of State and Government committed to spending at least 20% of national budgets on education, rallying behind a political declaration on education financing led by Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta. Over the next five years, Nigeria and other countries endorsing this statement are committing up to US$196 billion in education financing. These commitments are a crucial shield against learning losses resulting from the economic impact of COVID-19.