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Today’s Leadership Newspaper Headline, Thursday 29th November 2018

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Northern States Allocate More Funds To Education In 2018
Thu, 29 Nov 2018

Facts have emerged that northern states allocated more funds to education than their southern counterparts in the 2018 fiscal year in their bid to improve enrolment and provide adequate infrastructure in primary, secondary and tertiary schools.

Figures gleaned from the budgetary allocations of the 32 states of the federation covered in this report showed that the trailblazers in fund allocation and disbursement to the sector in the outgoing year are Sokoto and Gombe states. While Sokoto voted 31 per cent of its total budget for education to top the chart, Gombe allocated 30 per cent of the 2018 appropriations to the sector to occupy the second position.

Remarkably, Sokoto and Gombe were the only states in Nigeria that not only met but exceeded the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s (UNESCO’s) international benchmark of 26 per cent budget allocation to education.

The only state in the south that came close to meeting the UNESCO benchmark is Ogun State which allocated 23 per cent of its 2018 budget to education.

Just like Sokoto and Gombe states, Ogun State also disbursed a chunk of the allocation to various capital and recurrent expenditure.

On the flip side, Taraba State occupied the rear among northern states by allocating the least figure of five per cent of its budget during the period under review. Akwa Ibom State shared the same position among southern states, voting only two per cent of its 2018 budget for education.

These striking and in some cases appalling figures were unearthed by LEADERSHIP in a nationwide investigation of the funding of education at the state level during the year.

The findings were corroborated by a report published by Eduplana Research, an organisation committed to promoting the funding of education at both the national and state levels.

According to the report, among the states that poorly funded education in 2018 are Abia and Edo, which allocated only four per cent of their entire budgets to this critical sector.

While Taraba allocated five per cent, representing N5 billion of its N96.5billion, to education, Edo voted four per cent, or N6.3billion of its N146billion budget, and trailed by Abia with the same four per cent, or N5.42billion of its N140.9billion budget.

Akwa Ibom shocked stakeholders in the sector with the least allocation of two per cent, representing N10.52billion of its N651.5billion budget for the outgoing year.

To clinch the top position, Sokoto allocated N67billion, or 31 per cent of its N220.5billion, to education while Gombe came second by setting aside N31.46billion, or 30 per cent of its N104.96billion appropriation, for the sector.

LEADERSHIP recalls that in the national budget, the federal government allocated only seven per cent, or N102.907billion of the current budget, to education.

Although, Ogun did not meet the UNESCO benchmark, it led the South West region by allocating 23 per cent, or N79.24billion of its N345.4bn budget, to education.

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Still On The Massacre At Melete
Thu, 29 Nov 2018

The massacre of over one hundred soldiers of the 175 Task Force Batalion at Metele last week by the Boko Haram and their affiliates, the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWP) should invoke in us as a nation the highest sense of solidarity with the very gallant soldiers who paid the supreme sacrifice. The incident, although coming after many lesser ones in the last three months, demands we stand in solidarity with the President and the gallant soldiers battling the insurgents in the North East. Beyond this is the importance of the government and the national security establishment re-strategizing to forestal a recurrence.

This is because recent happenings in the North East point to an ominous and serious setback that could result in avoidable reversal of the gains made by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration since it came to power in 2015. To those of us directly affected, we remain grateful to the President, Commander in Chief for liberating our communities. However, it is time that the truth must be told if we are to succeed in ending the nightmare the insurgents have unleashed on the country. Some much more decisive measure must be deployed.

The truth is that the resurgence in the activities of the insurgents was evident and systematically gaining grounds in the last couple of months. An indication of this was several military bases in the North East before the one at Metele were earlier overran. It is pertinent to ask why was the attack therefore not envisaged? Why were the military formations and other targets susceptible to attacks by the insurgents also not fortified? Although it might not be helpful to apportion blames, there are indications that something is amiss. It must not be forgotten that there have been reports that the soldiers have been complaining over alleged inadequacy and obsolete weapons at their disposal.

Also, going by claims that have leaked into the social media, the soldiers reportedly complained that the weapons they have are those bought by former President Shehu Shagari in 1970s. If one may ask, what then has happened to the much talked about arms bought to re-equip the Armed Forces and the one billion dollars disbursed to re-equip the Armed Forces? There have also been talks in some circles that the various arms of the Armed Forces and Security Agencies have in recent times being working at cross purposes.

In counter-insurgency security operations, inter-agency cooperation and complementarities are crucial requirements for success. Where this is absent, the type of incidents witnessed should be expected. In addition, the strategies being deployed seem not to have worked. It is unthinkable that after several earlier attacks on military formations no preventive measures were put in place to forestall recurrence. The Military High Command accordingly needs to incorporate into its strategies, approaches that allow for going after the insurgents instead of relying on one that makes the troops sitting ducks. But much more alarming are reports that, the latest incident could be the result of insider compromise, breach of Operational Security (Ops Sec) and sabotage. Even if the soldiers were taken by surprise, why was there no resistance and backup? Nigerian soldiers are not weaklings and would have dealt a serious blow to a rag tag army.

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Tips To Counter Insurgency And Violent Extremism
Thu, 29 Nov 2018
The Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) has relied heavily on military action in its bid to counter both insurgency and violent extremism in Nigeria. While this approach is considered useful, it must be stated that it is has not yielded the desired result. Instead, we are witnessing a situation where the insurgents are getting bolder, []The post Tips To Counter Insurgency And Violent Extremism appeared first on Leadership Newspaper and Nigerian News Network.
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Those Who Sell Their Votes Lack Rights To Complain ‘ Kehinde
Thu, 29 Nov 2018
Mr Akinlolu Kehinde, a senior advocate, in this interview with KUNLE OLASANMI, speaks on the dangers inherent in vote-buying and other sundry issues. There is a general apprehension that the 2019 general election shall be marred with allegations of vote-buying just as it trailed Ekiti and Osun elections’ I will say that where there is []The post Those Who Sell Their Votes Lack Rights To Complain ‘ Kehinde appeared first on Leadership Newspaper and Nigerian News Network.
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How NNPC Is Safeguarding Oil Facilities In Delta Region
Thu, 29 Nov 2018
The collaborative efforts of private investors in the oil sector in protecting the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) pipelines in the Niger Delta region is yielding results as oil facilities have remained secured in recent times. PATRICK OCHOGA writes. It is no longer news that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, (NNPC) in the past []The post How NNPC Is Safeguarding Oil Facilities In Delta Region appeared first on Leadership Newspaper and Nigerian News Network.
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Tackling Severe Acute Malnutrition
Thu, 29 Nov 2018
One could barely hear the cry of Aisha Alhassan, a seven month old girl who is suffering from Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM), and the reason is not far-fetched, Aisha’s mother died of severe bleeding a day after she was born, and as such, she never had the taste of breast milk. She was left with []The post Tackling Severe Acute Malnutrition appeared first on Leadership Newspaper and Nigerian News Network.
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