The Coalition of Civil Society, CSOs, and the Coalition to End Child Poverty, ZACOTECP, have expressed concern over the low budgetary provisions for the education and health sectors in the proposed Zamfara State 2024 fiscal year budget.

The group expressed serious concern, lamenting that despite the declaration of an emergency in the education sector by Governor Dauda Lawal, the sector did not receive an impressive budget proposal.

In a statement collectively signed by the coalition Chairman and Secretary, Malam Balarabe Idris and Ahmad Hashim, respectively, it was noted that there was no significant difference between the current 2023 and the proposed 2024 budgets.

In the 2023 annual budget, the education sector received 11.6%, while the 2024 proposed annual budget allocated 12% to the education sector by the present administration.

The statement further noted that the state ranks poorly in education and health indicators, with 61.4% of school-aged children in the state, according to the Multiple Cluster Indicator Survey 2021, being out of school.

“Fifty-five percent of primary school pupils in the state do not complete their primary education, in addition to the poor condition of public primary schools and a shortage of teachers across the state,” the statement recorded.

Concerning the health sector budget, the coalition noted that despite the poor health sector indices of the state, the proposed 2024 budget was not designed to significantly change the narrative. There was a decrease in the health sector budget proposal from 9% in the 2023 state-approved budget to 7.8% in the proposed 2024 state annual budget.

The coalition also pointed out that Zamfara state was recently ranked by the Nigeria Multidimensional Child Poverty Report 2023, released by the National Bureau for Statistics (NBS), as number 4 among the 36 states of the federation with a high number of multidimensionally poor children. This includes access to education and health, with 82.2% of children in the state being multidimensionally poor.

The statement further advised that the State Governor and members of the State House of Assembly should consider a review of the two critical child-related sectors for the well-being and development of Zamfara State’s children.

“Children are the worst-affected victims of poverty and inequality. Poverty and inequality are key structural problems in Zamfara State. The state was ranked number 4 among the states with a high number of multidimensionally poor children.

“82.2% of children in Zamfara State are multidimensionally poor. The proposed 2024 fiscal year budget did not translate the pronouncement and commitment of the present administration to the education and health sectors of the state.

“Our children are being deprived of the provision of basic services. We appeal to His Excellency to kindly review this budget and provide significant provisions that would improve children’s access to education, social protection, health, nutrition, water, and protection.

“Overall, only 24% of the overall state 2024 proposed budget was allocated to the social sector as against 31.6% of the overall 2023 state annual budget,” the statement lamented.

Zamfara 2024 fiscal year budget: CSOs lament poor budget for education, health sectors

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