Nigeria Education News – Connected Development (CODE), an NGO, said on Monday it would track the N400 billion earmarked for education in the 2015 budget, using its “education budget tracker” its Chief Executive Officer, Mr Hamzat Lawal, says.
“The education budget tracker is a web-based tool that has been built for stakeholders to be informed on the different funds both national funds, budgetary funds or international donor aid going to the education sector.
“ What we want to do is show impact of the current state of funding that is going to the sector.
“Because if you can now measure impact and say `government, the 10 per cent you are giving from the national budget to the education, this is how it’s working’.
“But if you can increase to 20 and over time twenty six, this is what we will get. This entails that we are going to reduce the out of school children.
“This entails that we are going to reduce the young illiterates in Nigeria, which is over 9.8 million.
“So, if we start showing the impact of how these funds are being used by public officials, then government will be confident to increase the percentage that goes to the education sector.’’
According to him, the United Nations has advised that 26 per cent of national budget should be allotted to education but Nigeria has only 10 per cent, which is causing the crumble in the sector.
Lawal said the tracker would also enable the citizens to know how much was coming to their schools and track its utilisation and project implementation.
He said that leaders of over 30 Civil Society Organisations had been trained on how to use the tracker and give feedback on project implementation.
He also said the organisation was partnering with journalists to enlighten the public on the use of the tracker through live radio programmes and sharing budgetary information with communities in local languages.
Lawal explained that most households do not have access to internet, saying a Short Message Service (SMS) platform had been created.
According to him, the SMS platform will enable the various communities to send feedback on statutory project implementation to a specific number given to them.