Education gets lion share as Zulum budgets N134.5 Billion for 2020

By Sadiq Abubakar, The Nigerian Voice, Maiduguri
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Projects and services related to education have been allocated N23 billion, by far the highest in sectoral allocations for the year 2020 in Borno state as Governor Babagana Umara Zulum budgets N134.5 billion for capital and recurrent expenditure.

Zulum who read and laid down the budget estimate at the Borno State House of Assembly in Maiduguri recently announced N67. 5 billion representing 50.3 percent for recurrent expenditure and N66.9 billion for capital expenditures and the budget is to be financed from statutory allocation.

The Governor announced allocations of N23 billion to education out of which N9.1 was earmarked for higher education with greater emphasis on the Borno State University(BOSU).

This is in addition to plans to build seven primary, secondary and higher schools next year. Also, N19.1 billion was allocated to the Ministry of Finance which is to fund series of government procurements;.

N11.6 for Health & Human service, N9.2 billion for reconstruction of communities destroyed by insurgents, N7bb for roads and other infrastructure, N5.3 billion for the state assembly’s projects, N4.4 billion for major housing estates and N4b for agriculture. Other sectors got lower allocations depending on the budget focus.

"In the coming financial year (2020), we will construct (2) new mega schools in Wuyo and Chibok, and (2) technical schools in Mbalala and Bulabulin (Maiduguri). We will also construct (3) new Higher Islamic Secondary schools in Dikwa, Monguno and Biu Local Government Areas," Zulum said.

The governor also stated that his administration would, in 2020, rehabilitate and reopen secondary schools currently closed in Monguno, Damasak, Gajiram, Gubio, Dikwa, Ngala, Konduga, Bama and Gwoza towns.

He noted also that in the 2020 budget proposal, there was a plan to also construct 72 classrooms across the state and rehabilitate 27 blocks of two classrooms.

Zulum further disclosed plans to recruit 1,000 teachers to fill gaps as well as procurement of furniture and instructional materials to be supplied to all renovated schools, assuring that the government would continue the routine school feeding programme across the state.

In his review of educational projects in the current fiscal year, Zulum recalled that 20 primary and post-primary schools were rehabilitated through major transformation works in different parts of the state.

He also noted that three new mega schools, each with capacity for 1,200 pupils, were constructed and commissioned within the last six months of his administration.