The Kaduna State Government has earmarked N7.3 billion for the construction and renovation of 117 schools in the 2023 proposed budget of N370.3 billion before the State Assembly.
The budget document obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Kaduna on Wednesday, shows that a total of N107.72 billion was allocated to the education sector, representing 29.1 per cent of the total budget.
According to the document, the ministry for education got N34.2 billion out of the N107.72 allocated to the education sector, made up of N13.28 billion recurrent expenditure and N20.96 billion for capital expenditure.
It further showed that N6.3 billion out of the N20.96 billion for capital expenditure would be spent on construction of 62 new schools under the World Bank-supported Adolescent Girls Initiative for Learning and Empowerment (AGILE) project.
Also, one billion naira was allocated for the renovation of 55 schools and N700 million for digital literacy equipment and conditional cash transfer to girls from poor households under the AGILE project.
A total of two billion naira was also allocated as counterpart funding for project management and system strengthening under the AGILE project.
The budget document also showed that a total of N3.13 billion was allocated for School Feeding Programme in boarding schools.
It further showed that N2.10 billion was allocated for the rehabilitation, equipping and conversion of some 17 boarding and day schools to full boarding facilities across the state, a roll over project.
Similarly, a total of N1.08 would be spent on schools rebuilding and equipping programme, also a rollover project, while N2.41 billion was earmarked for supply of furniture to secondary schools.
The document also showed that N261.83 million was allocated for the equipping of six science secondary schools and N100 million for the development and deployment of education portal and e-learning platform.
Also, a total of N143.04 million was earmarked as counterpart funding for the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) support programme, while N104.03 million was for procurement of education materials and textbooks.
The government also allocated N63.19 million for the provision of white marker boards and smart boards for schools, while N35.85 million was allocated for the procurement of science, technical and vocational equipment.
The government also provided N888.59 million for disaster intervention in 50 secondary schools, N154.99 for fencing of schools, N125.99 for capacity building and N31.65 for accreditation.
A total of N117 million was allocated for the repair and construction of sports facilities in schools, while N215.67 was earmarked for teaching aids and instructional materials for Junior Secondary Schools.
NAN reports that the allocation of N34.2 billion to the ministry was N9.04 billion higher than the ministry’s N25.16 billion revised budget for 2022.
The second quarter budget performance report shows that the ministry was able to spend N10.95 billion, out of the N25.16 billion revised budget, representing 43 per cent half year performance.
In his reaction, an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) expert, Mr Leslie Dongh, said that the amount allocated to ICT was grossly inadequate to create the needed impact.
Dongh, the Executive Director of an ICT-based firm, Natsa Foni Foundation, particularly lamented the lack of budget line for the procurement of ICT devices to strengthen e-learning, especially in the rural areas.
On his part, Malam Aliyu Tijjani, Citizens’ Co-chair, Kaduna Basic Education Accountability Mechanism, urged the government to make provisions for security in schools to make learning environment safe. (