300/05 : Socio Economic Rights and Accountability Project / Nigeria Summary of Facts 1. The communication (herein referred to as the communication or complaint) is submitted by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP, the Complainant) against the government of Nigeria (the Respondent State). Nigeria is a state party to the African Charter on Human and th Peoples’ Rights (the African Charter), which it ratified on 22 July 1983. 2. In the complaint, SERAP states that the President of the Republic, Olusegun Obasanjo in a nd television broadcast of 22 March 2005, alleged that members of the Nigerian Senate and the House of Representatives took bribes from the Federal Minister of Education in order to increase the budget for education. That, according to the President, the Minister of Education invited his acting Permanent Secretary and some Directors to collect money from votes under their control to bribe some members of the National Assembly so that the budget for the Ministry could be increased. 3. The Directors then allegedly took from the votes under their control 35 million naira, while an additional loan of 20 million Naira was taken from the National Universities Commission (NUC) to pay a bribe totalling 55 million Naira to named members of the National Assembly and a member of the Federal House of Representatives. 4. The petitioner contends that the above is an illustration of the grand corruption by high-level officials and that it is routine for federal ministries to offer bribes to National Assembly members to have their budget estimates inflated. According to the Complainant, large-scale corruption such as the one described above has contributed to serious and massive violations of the right to education, among other rights, in Nigeria. It further avers that in effect, Nigeria’s human rights legal obligations under the African Charter to achieve the minimum core contents of the right to education have been honoured more in breach than in observance, resulting in: • • • • • • • • • • • Failure of government to train the required number of teachers; Gross under-funding of the nation’s educational institutions; Lack of motivation of teachers; Non-available class room seats and pupils sitting on bare floor; Non-availability of books and other teaching materials; Poor curricula; Poor and uninviting learning environments; Overcrowding; Persistent strikes by teachers and staff who have not been paid; Inability of supervising agencies to set and/or enforce standards; and Absence of infrastructure facilities. 5. The Complainant further submits that the Nigerian government has deliberately failed to investigate all allegations of corruption and this has contributed in impeding its ability to utilise Nigeria’s natural resources for the benefit of its peoples. 6. To demonstrate the gravity of the situation, the Complainant quotes the concluding observations of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, where the Committee held that millions of children hold odd jobs and some who go to school are crammed in dilapidated classrooms. The poor quality of education is attributed to the fact that teachers are not devoted to work since their salaries do not meet their expectations. Furthermore, that in 1997, fees were increased in the universities which caused a brain drain in academia because of long periods of closures, strikes, and so on.