As Education Suffers, Buhari’s Government Spends N13.17 Trillion on Debt Servicing

As Education Suffers, Buhari’s Government Spends N13.17 Trillion on Debt Servicing

  • The federal government of Nigeria has spent more money on debt servicing than it did on education
  • A breakdown of the country's debt servicing shows that the federal government has spent a whopping N13.17 trillion on debt servicing in six years
  • This runs contrary to UNESCO's recommendation of 15 to 20 per cent of a country's annual budget or 20 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product of a country

The Nigerian government spent about N13.17 trillion between 2016 and March 2022 under the government of President Muhammadu Buhari.

A Punch reports that during the same period, the Nigerian government budgeted N4.4 trillion for the education sector amid a strike by the Academic Union of Universities over low funding.

Buhari, Budget, Education
President Muhammadu Buhari Credit: State House
Source: UGC

Debt servicing vs education funding

Data from the Debt Management Office (DMO) says that from 2016 to March 2022, local debt servicing consumed over N10 trillion, while the Nigerian government spent N2.40 trillion ($7.84 billion) on external debt servicing.

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Between January to December 2016, a total of N1.23 trillion were spent on domestic debt servicing, while N369.60 billion were budgeted for education within the same period.

The amount for domestic debt servicing increased to N1.48 trillion in 2017, while the budget for education in the same year was N550 billion.

In 2018, the domestic debt servicing tab increased to N1.8 trillion while education got N605.8 billion.

In 2020, debt servicing went up again to N1.85 trillion, with education consuming N671.7 billion and in 2021m domestic debt servicing spiked to N2.05 trillion, with education taking N742.52 billion.

Nigeria missing benchmark for education funding

External debt servicing, however, took $353.09 million in 2016, skyrocketing to N464.05 million in 2017 and jumped to $1.47 billion in 2018.

By 2019, Nigeria spent $1.33 billion on external debt servicing, and in 2020, external debt servicing swallowed $1.156 billion, while in 2021, the amount rose to $2.11 billion.

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In the first three months of 2022, the country spent N668.69 billion on domestic debt servicing, while education took N923.79 billion.

UNESCO recommends a benchmark of four to six per cent of a country’s Gross Domestic Product or 15 to 20 per cent of a country’s annual budget for education.

During the seven years of the Buhari regime, education got the highest allocation in 2017, when 7.38 per cent was allocated to the sector.

Nigeria spends N896.56 billion on debt servicing in 3 months reported that In three months, the Nigerian government has spent a whopping N896.56 billion on debt servicing, according to the Debt Management Office (DMO).

This has led the country to spend N3.83 trillion on debt repayments in 15 months, DMO data says.

The Punch reports a total of N2.93 trillion was spent on servicing debt in 2021, meaning a 109 per cent increase in comparison to 2022.


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