The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) must hear this. The Federal Government has approved N208 billion as part of the 2019 intervention through the Tertiary Education Trust Fund for infrastructural and teacher development in public tertiary institutions.
This amount approved by the government is a far cry from the N1.1 trillion ASUU is asking for to fund the university system and halt the decay in infrastructure and equipment in public universities.
President Muhammadu Buhari who disclosed this at the 23rd convocation of the University of Abuja on Saturday, said the intervention was part of his administration’s effort to address the deficiencies in all the segments of our educational system.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Education, Mr Sonny Echono, Buhari said his administration would continue to provide funding that would address some of the challenges in the nation’s public institutions, The Nation reports.
The President said that the university system must continue to search for solutions to the nation’s developmental needs.
Buhari said: “There is no doubt that Nigeria will be a global player in the emerging knowledge economy. What is required is to ensure the quality of our human capital and also maintain the desirable balance for sustainable national socio-economic growth and development.
“The present administration will continue to improve on the infrastructural facilities in the universities, promote teacher development and curriculum review.
“It is in furtherance of this that I recently approved the disbursement of N208billion to public tertiary institutions under the 2019 intervention of the TETFUND.
“The government will continue to look into the issues raised by the universities especially regarding physical development and will equally monitor the universities closely. I also seize this opportunity to reiterate the commitment of the Federal Government to addressing youth unemployment.”
Buhari noted that for the country’s education system to favour it, the curriculum must focus on the development of entrepreneurial skills of the individuals and encourage research and innovations.
He said the National Universities Commission has put in place motion to address the country’s curriculum and the minimum qualification for university teachers.
According to him, the combined effect of these measures should improve the quality of “our school system and graduates as well as prepare the products of our educational system to meet the challenges of tomorrow’s work place.
“This certainly impact greatly in the effort to generate employment, reduce the high rate of poverty and the incidence of social deviance in the country,” he added.
Buhari said that his administration would not rest until youth unemployment was reduced to the barest minimum.
Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof Michael Adikwu, said a total of 4,946 students graduated from the institution.
Prof Adikwu said the university awarded 24 First Class Honours.