Global Education Summit: Buhari, World Leaders Pledge to Increase Education Budget to 50% in 2 Years

President Buhari

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari and other world leaders have pledged to increase their national education sector budgets by as much as 50% over the next two years, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports on Thursday.

NAN reports that the pledge is contained in a document titled; “Heads of State Call to Action on Education Financing Ahead of the Global Education Summit,” signed as a form of commitment at the ongoing Summit in London, United Kingdom, where President Buhari and his colleague heads of state averred, among other commitments, that; “We commit to progressively increase our annual domestic education expenditure by 50 per cent over the next two years and up to 100% by 2025 beyond the 20 per cent global benchmark.”

The summit, which is being co-hosted by British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, and the President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta, seeks to give opportunity to leaders to make five-year pledges to support Global Partnership for Education’s (GPE’s) work to help transform the education sector in up to 90 countries and territories.

GPE is the largest global fund solely dedicated to transforming education in lower-income countries, and a unique, multi-stakeholder partnership working to deliver quality education so that every girl and boy can have hope, opportunity and agency.

NAN reports that Heads of State from the GPE partner countries including Mr Buhari are expected to brainstorm on the way forward for transforming education.

The leaders would also be deliberating on innovative solutions and global commitment to new ways of working to address core challenges to gender equality and transforming education for girls.

Other African leaders expected to participate fully in the summit include Presidents Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana; Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya; Lazarus Chakwera of Malawi and Faure Gnassingbé of Togo.

Nigeria’s 2021 Education Budget 5.6%

Meanwhile Nigeria’s 2021 education budget for the education sector was put at 5.6% of the total national budget, about 14.6% below the recommended global 20% benchmark and the lowest in since 2011.

Out of N13.08 trillion that was budgeted for 2021 as captured in the presentation that was made by President Buhari before a joint sitting of the National Assembly, N742.5 billion was allotted to education. In the breakdown, N579.7 billion was for personnel cost, N35.4 billion for overhead cost, while N127. 3 billion is dedicated to capital expenditure.

The headquarters of the federal ministry of education was allotted N65. 3 billion and the Universal Basic Education, which supervises education at the primary and secondary levels got N77.6 billion. The remaining was shared across other institutions under the ministry.


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  1. Is Buhari not embarrassed to attend an international conference on education spending? In a recent survey of 150 countries, Nigeria was bottom in terms of government spending on education; so it is home to the highest number of out-of-school children in the world. It has the biggest gap between rich and poor in terms of education: 90% of the richest pupils complete secondary school, compared with only 15% from the poorest households. The Federal Budget for 2021 proposes a recurrent education budget of N545billion and capital spending of N127bn. In addition, the budget for the Universal Basic Education Commission is proposed to be N70 billion. This gives a total education budget of N742 billion which is only 5.6% of the total budget having fallen from 12.3% when Buhari came to power in 2015.

    56 country governments from the Global South, members of the Global Partnership for Education, agreed to spend at least of 20 per cent of their total annual budgets on education (with half earmarked for pre-primary and primary education). This is supported by UNESCO which recommends that governments spend 26% of their budgets on education.

    In his 2015 manifesto Buhari promised “Targeting up to 20% of our annual budget for this critical sector”. Five years later he has reduced the proportion of the annual budget allocated to education each year.


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