By Ismaila Chafe
President Muhammadu Buhari says his administration has so far invested about N1.3 trillion towards the development of the education sector in the past four years excluding funds spent on overhead and personnel costs.
Mr Femi Adesina, the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, in a statement in Abuja on Thursday, said the President disclosed this at the inauguration of the Post Graduate Centre of Excellence at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State.
The Centre was built by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
President Buhari, therefore, commended the CBN for providing the Centre, sited at the Samaru campus of the institution.
The President said: ‘‘By this exercise, we are building on the vision of the founder of this great institution, Late and great Sir Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauna of Sokoto, who, as Premier of Northern Nigeria, established this institution almost six decades ago.
‘‘It is on record that this University has made giant contributions towards the development of our nation and we remain grateful to the Founder of this vision.’’
While expressing concern over the state of facilities in Nigerian universities, due to long years of perennial funding challenges, the President promised that his administration would continue to place premium on education at all levels.
According to him, his administration will not rest until it delivers on its commitments on quality education, including investing more resources in the sector and providing a conducive learning environment in the academia.
‘‘It is no longer a secret that the state of facilities in our universities and other institutions of higher learning has not kept pace with the requirements of the ever-growing population of students and other stakeholders or with modern methods of learning.
‘‘This has largely been due to the perennial funding challenge over the years. As an administration, we are committed and determined to continue to fund our vital institutions, even in the face of limited financial resources.
‘‘Let me reiterate here that this administration places much premium on education at all levels, as it is the bedrock of society’s progress, and the way to overcome poverty,’’ he said.
The President expressed confidence that efforts at improving access to quality education in tertiary institutions will enable young Nigerians to make meaningful contributions towards the nation’s development.
‘‘The wealth of nations today is being shaped by investment in education rather than emphasis on mineral resources.