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2020 budget: Funding for health, education fall short of UNESCO, AU recommendations

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According to the 2020 Appropriation bill draft released by the Budget Office of Nigeria, the amount budgeted for health and education in the proposed 2020 budget is way below the recommended standards by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and Africa Union (AU).

The aggregate amount budgeted for health is N380.8 billion. This amount is inclusive of statutory transfer for the Basic Health Care Fund of N44.5 billion.

Nigeria hosted the Heads of States of AU member nations in 2001, where the “Abuja Declaration” was made and member nations pledge to spend at least 15% of their annual budget on improving the health sector.

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The budget for health, which is a meagre 3.69%, clearly is way below the AU standard of 15%.

On education, the government proposed to spend N601.99 billion – with statutory transfer for Universal Basic Education (UBEC) of N44.5 billion inclusive – and this is below UNESCO’s recommendation of 26%.

The documents from the Budget Office showed that Nigeria has not met these requirements since 2009.

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