A lawmaker in the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mr Olusola Sokunle, has called for more budgetary allocation to education sector to position the nation rightly in the path of development.
Sokunle, representing Oshodi-Isolo Constituency I at the assembly, spoke on Saturday at the graduation ceremony of 100 youths under the 6th batch of his Free Computer Training Programme in Oshodi.
President Muhammadu Buhari had on Tuesday presented a budget proposal of N8.6 trillion for the 2018 fiscal year to the joint session of the National Assembly.
The budget tagged “Budget of Consolidation’’ represents an increase of 16 per cent from the 2017 budget estimate.
In the budget, education sector got only 7.04 per cent of the 8.6 trillion 2018 budget, which was much lower than the 26 per cent of national budget recommended by the United Nations.
The global organisation recommended the budgetary benchmark to enable nations to adequately cater for rising education demands.
The total sum allocated to the sector is N605.8 billion, with N435.1 billion for recurrent expenditure, N61.73 billion for capital expenditure and N109.06 billion for the Universal Basic Education Commission.
The allocation was lower than the 7.4 per cent the government gave the education sector in the N7.4 trillion 2017 budget.
Sokunle, also the Chairman, House Committee on Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Relations, said: “Only qualitative investment in education sector can bring lasting economic development in the country.
“The budgetary allocation of 7.04 per cent to education sector in the 2018 budget should be increased to bring meaningful change to the sector.
“Standardising the education system of the country is, however, not only the responsibility of government, but also of the parents and professional teachers.
“Our parents and teachers should see themselves as development agents in changing the face of our education system.’’
The lawmaker said that education sector remained the driving force of most developed countries of the world; hence, it should receive significant allocation and attention.
Sokunle said that provisions of qualitative education would further reduce unrest and insecurity.
He urged well-meaning Nigerians and corporate organisations to join hands with the government to bankroll the education sector.
The lawmaker, however, advised the graduands to positively make use of the skills and knowledge they acquired during the training for both their personal development and the nation at large.
He said that most economic activities across the world required skills in Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
According to him, another batch of the computer training programme would commence in December.
He said that his target was to empower more than 1000 youths in computer skills by the second quarter of 2018.
In his remarks, a Community Leader, Mr Collins John, urged the graduands to use the training opportunity to explore the technology industry, adding that most developed economies were technology-driven.
John, who commended the lawmaker on the computer programme, said that the training should be expanded to accommodate more youths.
Miss Kehinde Rasak, speaking on behalf of the graduands, commended Sokunle for the gesture and expressed satisfaction with the way and manner the training was organised.