Background of the Study
It is crystal clear in Nigeria today, that education is the greatest instrument and asset which could be utilized for solving the various socio economic problems facing the nation and for fullest realization of the potentials and aspirations of the people. The government now perceives education as an investment in human capital, with the sole aim of wiping out ills such as ignorance, disease, malnutrition, corruption, bribery, tribalism, nepotism, super corruption, belief, unemployment, poverty, inequality, duld mortality, political instability and economic stagnation that usually plague an illiterate society.
Despite the commitment of the government to invest more on education in Nigeria, ironically, the cost of education in recent times in Nigeria has become astronomical. The high cost of education can be attributed to a number of factors which includes increase in teacher’s salaries and allowances to meet the hyper-inflation condition in the economy, increase in enrolment of potentials at all level of education (primary, secondary, and tertiary) in Nigeria due to high social demand for education which has consequently resulted in proliferation of educational institution and equalization of educational opportunities through the well-orchestrated Universal Basic Education Scheme [UBES]. Nomadic Education, Adult Literacy Programme, Distance Learning Education Part-time Programme, Pre-Degree, Pre-National Diploma (ND), Pre-NCE Nigeria Certificate in Education, Sandwish programmes and the “free education policy” of some state governments.
Adeniran (2000), expressing his view on the rapid expansion of the educational system, remarked that; in Nigeria, the educational system is expanding daily of astonishing rate, to the extent that within short periods educational forecast are render useless”. It is therefore not superfluous that the phenomenal growth of educational system has inevitably led to annual increase in expenditure on education in Nigeria today. The government spending has therefore increase due to increasing enrolment of students in school. Government need to attend to other area of the economy like health, security, foreign relation and diplomacy. Another urgly development about Nigerian government was the inability of the government to meet 26 percent of the United Nations Scientific Education and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) minimum as requirement as part of the National budget of every financial year to be dedicated for the funding of Education.
It is this becoming apparent that the government alone cannot continue to bear the burden of funding education, particularly in this period of economic socio political vicissitudes. Other sources have to be explored to supplement and complement the government sources. One of the sources is the involvement of the Non-Governmental Organization (NGOs) in the development of education in Nigeria.
The non-governmental organizations have played a significant role in educational development in Nigeria. The non-governmental organization includes the Religious Welfare and Philanthropist Association and Organization as well as the Commercial and Industrial Firms, which includes the Multi- national and Bi-lateral organizations and other Private Companies and Parastatals. The following prominent NGOs have been known to contribute greatly to the development of education in Nigeria. This includes UNICEF- United Nation Children Education Fund, UNESCO- United National Education Scientific and Cultural Organisation, USAID- United State Agency for International Development, WHO- World Health Organization and other national and Local non-governmental Organizations, operating in different ways and names.
The funding of NGOs may be by governments, foundations, businesses, or private organizations or individuals persons. Some avoid formal funding altogether and are run primarily by volunteers. NGOs are highly diverse groups of organizations engaged in a wide range of activities, and take different forms in different parts of the world specifically in Nigeria. Some may have charitable status, while others may be registered for tax exemption based on recognition of social purposes. Others may be fronts for educational, political, religious or other interest.
Statement of the Problem
The government expenditure over the years has increased due to some reasons ranging from population increase, natural disaster, disease outbreak and educational demand of the citizenry and many others. As the ways in which government channeled her resources into increases, the revenue that is accrued to the pursue of government decreases because of consistent fall in the price of crude oil in the international market. This is economic reality of our time. This clearly shows that all sectors of the economy would be affected including educational sector financing as result of the dwelling revenue that is accrued to the government at all level. With this development, it is clearly shows that government alone cannot fund education. It require the support of all the stakeholders including the Non-Governmental organizations. Despite the commitment of the government to invest more on education in Nigeria, the cost of education has become high that it is difficult for the poor to have access to education. Also, the growth and expansion in education system has inevitably led to annual increase in expenditure on education. It is therefore becoming apparent that the government alone cannot continues to bear the burden of funding education, particularly in this period of economic and socio-political vicissitudes. As a result of the above, the study therefore appraises the roles of Non- Governmental Organizations (NGOs) in the development of education in Nigeria.