Endowment funds could help provide alternative funding for education in Nigeria

21 May 2019 Consultancy.africa 2 min. read
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Global professional services firm PwC has urged that a more effective education system is crucial to the future of Nigeria’s economy. To this end, a new report from the firm advocates the privatisation of education to some degree, in light of shortcomings in the government’s efforts thus far. 

Some reports place Nigeria as the largest economy in Africa, and the country is set to become one of the major players in Africa’s journey to becoming a major economic power in the world. One driver of the country’s promising future is its substantial – and remarkably young – population.

Most of the country’s population is set to enter the working age over the next half a decade, which most experts view as an indicator of a rapid increase in productivity. Crucial to the realisation of this goal however, is that this substantial young population obtains the required skills to contribute to economic productivity. Currently, the country suffers from a high rate of unemployment.

In a new report, Big Four accounting and advisory firm PwC has detailed that the Nigerian education system, in its current form, is failing to facilitate the realisation of that goal. The firm cites numbers from UNICEF to illustrate how Nigeria has the highest number of children out-of-school in the world.Endowment funds could help provide alternative funding for education in Nigeria

This figure stands at more than 10 million children, which is 20% of the total number of out-of-school children across the globe. In addition, PwC reports a misallocation of funds within the education system by the government. Most of the funds are currently allocated to universal basic education.

As a result, the tertiary education sector receives a dismal share of the funds, and this share has been declining over the years. According to PwC, such a scenario stems from the fact that tertiary education is an expensive sector that requires substantial investment, while Nigeria’s funding for education comes from the government.

“Nigeria needs to find sustainable ways to fund tertiary education. One of such sustainable strategies is through the adoption endowment funds, which have successfully established in the West and will take little or nothing to implement in Nigeria,” says the report.

“The endowment funds are not the only solution to funding social inclusion and closing the infrastructure deficit, but it is one way that fosters fiscal and monetary discipline. There is an urgent need for Nigeria to create a system outside the government to improve the outcomes in the areas of health and education,” it adds.