Paul Obi and Peter Omale in Abuja
As public funds shrink following the current economic recession, the federal government has been urged to adopt innovative approach in financing the education sector in
The Convener of the Initiative, Education Sector Investment Promotion, Arete Amana, and the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission made the call in Abuja at a workshop on the need to broaden the source of financing the Nigeria Education Sector.
Amana who stated that government need to realise the contents of Ministerial strategic plan, the cost of implementing the plan must be considered.
She added the government ought to embrace “innovation in financing the sector adding the government alone cannot finance Nigeria’s education sector following UNESCO’s prescription of 26% of the nation’s budget for funding the education sector.
“It is time for the Nigeria education sector to be opened up for foreign and domestic investment most importantly the government can only adopt innovative approach to finasncing the education as we know that UNESCO’s prescription for funding the sector in 26% of our nation’s budget,” Amana stated.
She said no country of the world offers quality education for free, adding that this call for the government of Nigeria to encourage the private sector to re-invest in the Nigeria education sector.
Speaking on innovative ways of financing the Nigeria education sector, she identified corporate tax rebates, Education vouchers, ethical funds for education, enrolment fund for education funded by the Sovereign Wealth funds, education venture and innovation fund among other means.
“On the Collaboration between the Education Sector Investment Promotion Initiatives and the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission, a new frame work that will enable strategic partnerships and investments in Nigeria education sector will be created.”
Amana emphasised that education evolves from the activities of the public sector, adding that education cannot therefore be managed by the government without partnering with the private sector.
“The collaboration will also forge inter- governmental sectoral linkages for the development of the Nigeria education sector. Through the Education Investment Initiative, Nigeria can have a reversal of education fair overseas by Nigerians”
“The initiative is designed to respond to the evident perennial issues if access, availability and affordability, quality assurance and overall institutional capacity plaguing the Nigerian educational system at all levels,” she stressed.
She further hinted that the initiative on education investment promotion will soon hold a forum later 2016 to promote Nigeria as an emergence regional hub for education.
“The initiative will soon hold a forum in November this year where we intend to bring stakeholders from within and abroad to partner with the Nigerian government concerning the education sector and where there will be creation of policy environment for investors.
“The forum is a platform for multi stakeholder engagement which will lead to the emergence of a new frame work for investments and financing of education in Nigeria.”