Stakeholders Perception of Transparency and Accountability in Higher Education Financing In Lagos State

  • S Ahunanya
  • O Enyinna
  • M Abdullahi

Abstract

The study examined how the stakeholders of higher education in Lagos State of Nigeria perceive the level of transparency and accountability of higher education financing in the state. Bearing in mind the funding state of the Nigerian education system, with the lowest budgetary allocation in Africa according the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU),stakeholders are questioning the efficiency used in administering the monies allocated to education with the recent reforms introduced in the sector. Recently, the community accountability and transparence initiative (CATI) for universities, polytechnics, colleges of education and the states(in respect of primary schools) was introduced by the government for two reasons: first, to ginger the general public to ask questions about how the various funds meant for education and sent by the federal government to various arms are being spent. Second: to provoke the interest of the public in the sorry state of public schools and ask legitimate questions about specifics which the various funds were meant for. The issue of transparency and accountability in education in Nigeria has taken the front burner in recent times as the goals of education at all levels are not being achieved. The products of the Nigerian education system are falling short of the expectations by the society. Consequently, the different stakeholders want to know who should be held responsible for this downward trend in the fortune of the Nigerian education system. The main concern of the stakeholders is the problem of who to hold accountable for fund disbursement and execution of educational programs. The second concern is the degree of transparency in financial dealings with a view to check irregularity and ultimately enhances efficiency. Using the ‘Perception Survey’ method, subjective data was collected from stakeholders through the administration of Stakeholders Perception Questionnaire (SPQ) and the data collected was analysed using the Chi-square statistical tool.Most
stakeholders felt that there was no transparency and accountability in the financing of higher education and therefore nobody could be held responsible for any inefficiency within the system. It was recommended that fund tracking techniques based on transparent  transaction from the state government level to institutional levels be introduced such that from budget proposals, appropriation and releases, stakeholders can actually track the movement of the financial dealings as most of them has lost confidence in audited reports that can be manipulated
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