Student Loan vs School Feeding: Why Tinubu’s N150bn Scheme Can’t Work in Nigeria, Experts Reveal

Student Loan vs School Feeding: Why Tinubu’s N150bn Scheme Can’t Work in Nigeria, Experts Reveal

  • President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has been told to channel the N100 billion for the school feeding scheme into constructing more classrooms and employing more teachers
  • The President was also urged to leave such schemes for the state and local governments to handle with just the federal government's supervision
  • These were the expert opinions of some individuals in the education and developmental policy sectors journalist Segun Adeyemi has over 9 years of experience covering political events, civil societies, courts, and metro

FCT, Abuja - The 2024 budget of N28.7 trillion 2024 appropriation bill signed into law by President Bola Tinubu allocated N2.18 trillion for the education sector.

This marks a substantial increase of 101.85% compared to the N1.08 trillion allocated in the 2023 budget.

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President Tinubu on Monday, Jan. 1 signed N100 billion for the school feeding scheme
The President has been told to channel the N100bn school feeding scheme fund into building more classrooms and employing more teachers. Photo Credit: Bola Ahmed Tinubu
Source: Facebook

The distribution of funds includes N1.23 trillion for the Federal Ministry of Education and its affiliated agencies, N251.47 billion for the Universal Basic Education Commission, and N700 billion designated for transfers to the tertiary education trust fund.

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Additionally, there is an allocation of N50 billion for the Federal Government's student loan scheme and N150 billion for the public school feeding scheme.

Meanwhile, President Tinubu has been criticised for allocating N150bn for school feeding when public elementary school infrastructure is dilapidated.

In an exclusive interview with, Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, the executive director of the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), said the federal government cannot take the responsibilities of the state government.

Rafsanjani stated that such schemes should be left to the state and local governments to handle rather than the federal government.

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He said:

"We are running a federal system. The federal government cannot take over the responsibility of the state. The federal government can only work and support state and local governments to do their work. And there's already an established precedent that wherever federal government money applies up to 35% in any procurement and services, the federal government law will apply in the state or local government.
"The idea of creating special agencies to be doing what the state and local government are supposed to do is an aberration because we cannot capitalise on the incapacitation and failure of quality governance to decapacitate those tiers of government further."

He stated that it is not the responsibility of the federal government to provide primary education, which therefore means that feeding school children shows that the current system is very inconsistent.

Nigeria lacks adequate database to cater for student loans - Dr Oyinade

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Rafsanjani said working with the various tiers of government and applying proper supervision is the best way to go about such a scheme rather than being funded by the federal government.

Speaking on the student-loan scheme, Dr Babatunde Oyinade, a Nigerian-American and former adjunct professor at Howard University, Washington, DC, USA, said Nigeria does not have an adequate database to pull off such a scheme.

He said:

"We don't have a database. It can only work where you have a database, and you know that Ojo is living at no. 4 Oge Street, and if he registers as one who lives at no. 4 Oge Street, by the time he finishes, he'll be living at no. 44 Idumota Street. You won't even know where he lives; he'll run away with the money."

Dr Oyinade, who spoke to in a 12min 30secs phone conversation, stated that the government must provide ready-made employment for the loanee to help them exhaust the loan payment.

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He said:

"There must be a read-made employment so the student can repay the loan. It's not an easy thing to do.
"The US government does it, and it is established that you can bankrupt your bank loan or anything, but you can never bankrupt the student loan. You must pay it back."

In Enugu, 50% of children can’t read, solve simple math

In another report, Enugu State suffers a serious education crisis rooted in elementary school teaching and learning.

The secretary to the state government, Prof. Chidiebere Onyia, said 50 per cent of children in the region cannot read or solve fundamental mathematics.

He also stated that the problem does not only exist in Enugu but labelled it as a nationwide issue that must be curbed.


Segun Adeyemi avatar

Segun Adeyemi (Current Affairs and Politics Editor) Segun Adeyemi is a journalist with over 9 years of experience as an active field reporter, editor, and editorial manager. He has had stints with Daily Trust newspaper, Daily Nigerian, and News Digest. He currently works as an editor for's current affairs and politics desk. He holds a degree in Mass Communication (Adekunle Ajasin University). He is a certified digital reporter by Reuters, AFP and the co-convener of the annual campus journalism awards. Email:

Auwal Musa Rafsanjani avatar

Auwal Musa Rafsanjani (Human rights activist) Auwal Musa Rafsanjani is the chairman of the Board of Amnesty International, Nigeria, and executive director of the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC). Rafsanjani has been a member of Civil Liberties Organization and a member of The Center for Democracy and Human Rights. He was a founding member of Campaign for Democracy, led by late Beko Ransome Kuti, Democratic Alternative, also a member and coordinator of United Action for Democracy (UAD) led by Olisa Agbakoba.