Borno State governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, presented a budget of N170 billion for the 2018 fiscal year on Thursday 28th December, 2018. Shettima gave highest priority to education by allocating N26 billion to the sector.
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) commends the Borno State governor for giving education the highest allocation in the 2018 budget. It is timely, visionary and realistic.
For a state that has suffered the heaviest casualty of the Boko Haram insurgency, Borno State needs speedy recovery and giving adequate attention to education is of paramount importance to the realization of this objective.
Nonetheless, MURIC reminds all stakeholders within and outside the country of the humongous challenges facing the state. No weapon fashioned against religious extremism can be as effective as education. Although Nigeria has defeated Boko Haram militarily, the ideological wing of the deadly group is still very much alive and active. It is only a purposeful pursuit of educational projects that can eventually eliminate the misleading ideology of Boko Haram.
The allocation of 15% of the total 2018 budget to education in Borno State, though laudable, is still dwaffed by the gargantuan challenges confronting the state. It should be noted that the United Nations’ Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) recommends that education should take 26% of budgets.
If Ogun State can afford to allocate 23% to education in its 2018 budget, a state ravaged by Boko Haram insurgency should strive to defeat the insurgents ideologically by voting nothing less than 25% to education. However, the fact that the state governor deemed it fit to give the education sector the attention it deserves though within his means is a reflection of his good understanding of the situation. Shettima would have done more if the resources were there.
We therefore use our concluding space to call on the Federal Government, wealthy Nigerians and international donor agencies to pour huge funds and education relief materials to Borno State to enable the government to build more schools, upgrade existing ones and to equip educational institutions with state-of-the-art materials. Only thus can we completely uproot the multifaceted tentacles of Boko Haram from the state.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)