How did Buhari perform in education over 8 years?


By Wisdom Deji-Folutile

President Muhammadu Buhari is in the twilight days of his eight years tenure. After serving as the leader of the Federal Republic of Nigeria since May 2015, Buhari leaves behind a legacy as the 15th Head of State (after previously serving as the 7th between 1983-1985).

In our infographic series, AF24NEWS highlights President Buhari’s performance in the education sector.

Download the full report here.



Nigeria Education Budget 2016-2023

Nigeria has spent N6.70tn (about $13bn) on education under President Muhammadu Buhari. In that time, the country has spent more—in some cases, exponentially—on servicing debts, staving a losing battle against insecurity, and subsidising fuel costs.

In 2016, out of a total approved budget of N6.06 trillion, N480.28 billion was allocated to the education sector, representing about 7.9 per cent of the total amount budgeted for the year.

The following year, N448.44 billion was allocated to the sector, representing about 6.1 per cent of the N7.30 trillion 2017 total budget.

In 2018, out of an approved national budget of N9.2 trillion, N651.23 billion (7.1 per cent of the budget) was allocated to the education sector.

In 2019, N8.83 trillion was brought to the National Assembly as the budget. Buhari had allocated N745.53 billion to the education sector, representing 8.4 per cent of the total budget.—a 1.2 per cent jump over the previous year

In 2020, due to the economic realities of the COVID-19 pandemic, the sector eventually received a total of 686.82 billion, which was about 6.5 per cent of the N10.27 total budget for the year.

The following year, the education sector received N742.52bn, 5.6 per cent of the total budget. This was a 0.9 per cent drop in allocation from the previous year.

In the 2022 national budget (N17.13tn), N923.79bn billion was allocated to the sector. This was 5.4 per cent of the total budget approved by the National Assembly. The allocation represented a further decline of 0.2 per cent from 2021, despite the increase in total allocation.

In 2023, the Ministry of Education received N1.08tn from a total budget of N20.5tn, representing about 8.8 per cent of budget allocation.

Nigerians spend $4bn on Foreign Education

According to data from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), citizens have spent about $4 billion on foreign education since the outgoing administration came on board.

The apex bank’s figures on educational services, under the sectoral utilisation for transactions valid for foreign exchange, the CBN showed $375.99 million from June – December 2015.

Further values:

  • $269.1 million was released in 2016
  • $514.16 million in 2017
  • $546.78 million in 2018
  • $197.52 million in 2019.
  • $270.42 million in 2020.
  • $720.05 million in 2021
  • $609.5 million for January – August 2022.

Other Education Keypoints under Buhari

• As of September 2022, The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) had gone on strike for over 600 days since the inception of President Buhari’s administration in 2015.

• According to data from the Ministry of Education, Nigeria ranks 5th worldwide for out-of-school children figures. The exact count is 10.19 million children, which represents 34% of the country’s total children population across the 6 geopolitical zones in the country.

• In terms of budget allocation percentage, Nigeria is yet to meet the UNESCO 20 per cent recommendation for developing countries. Nigeria only succeeded in averaging 7.1 per cent over President Buhari’s tenure.

• Nigerians have now spent N1.8tn ($4bn) on foreign education.

• Nigeria spent N4.8tn on fuel subsidy in the last 12 months. That is more than triple the amount of money allocated to education in the 2023 capital expenditure budget (N1.08tn)