SERAP drags Federal Government to United Nations for reducing education, health budgets
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project has dragged the Federal Government before the United Nations over the plans to cut the budgetary allocation to education and health care in the country.
The group, in its petition, also urged the UN to prevail upon the Federal Government to immediately drop the plan to spend N27bn on the renovation of the National Assembly complex.
SERAP’s Deputy Director, Kolawole Oludare, said the petition was sent to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education, Koumbou Boly Barry; UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health, Dainius Puras; and the UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights, Olivier De Schutter.
SERAP accused the Nigerian authorities of “putting politicians’ allowances and comfort before citizens’ human rights.”
It said, “The budget cuts show failure to address the growing economic and social inequality in the country and to genuinely address the consequences of COVID-19 on the poor and marginalised groups.
“Nigeria’s budget deficits are caused by excessive expenditures on politicians’ allowances and mismanagement.
“Nigerian authorities would only be able to commit to fiscal discipline if they prioritise cutting the allowances of lawmakers and the costs of governance in general, rather than cutting critical funding for healthcare and education.
“We believe that alternative policies and measures, such as reducing the costs of governance, including the excessive allowances for high-ranking public officials and the lawmakers, would have been a more appropriate solution to addressing budget deficits, as this would increase the available resources for healthcare and education, which in turn would contribute to reducing socio-economic inequality.”