Over N600bn allocated to improve quality education- Buhari

By Oluwaseun Sonde

President Muhammed Buhari has given education the second highest sectorial allocation in the 2020 Appropriation Bill with N652.94 billion in genuinely committed to improving the quality and standards of education in the long term with addition of N272 billion to the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) in the Medium Term Expenditure Framework for projects in tertiary institutions.

This was disclosed while addressing at the 37th Founders’ Day and 29th Convocation Ceremony of Federal University of Technology, Minna, held on Saturday, represented by the Honourable Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Dr Ibrahim Pantami.

He said government remains mindful of the cardinal role of science and technology in national development. That informed our decision to review admission ratio in favour of science and technology programmes in our tertiary institutions. “All these point to the fact that we are determined to improve our educational system within the available resources in the country.

Apart from other long-term efforts, the Federal government strives to address the challenge of unemployment. “Since the year 2016, government has gainfully engaged about 550,000 Nigerian youths through the N-Power scheme. Over two million Nigerians, essentially among the youth, have also benefited from the Government Enterprise Empowerment Programme that we established to support micro, small and medium enterprises”, he said.

He added that in line with global best practice, government are taking advantage of the advances in digital technologies in the diversification of our economy.

“This is why we have resignated the Federal Ministry of Communications as the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy. The Ministry has the mandate to develop and implement a harmonized and well-coordinated digital economy policy and strategy for Nigeria. “This Policy and Strategy Document was unveiled on the 28th of November, 2019 and it will help us to prepare our youths for the jobs of the Digital Age.

The Document also shows our commitment create a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship that will transform our teeming youths from job seekers to job creators”, he said. He therefore directed the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy to develop training and sensitization programs that will be rolled out across the country. “I urge you to take advantage of this.

Ladies and Gentlemen, our country is currently beset with multi-faceted challenges and we are equally adopting a multi-pronged approach combat that has been addressing them with a appreciable success so far. “Some of the solutions we have adopted may be painstaking, but we are supremely confident that in the end, our country will be the better place for all. Just as we are diversifying our economy, tapping into other streams of revenue to revamp our economy, we have also remained resolute in ensuring that we plug the loopholes in public finance so as to eliminate fraud and retrieve funds which can be used to address challenges such as infrastructure deficit and unemployment”, he added.

He applauded the Governing Council, Management and the entire staff of the University for effectively playing their respective roles which have led to this momentous celebration. “I equally salute all the graduands for their commitment industry and resilience which that have resulted in their attainment of this landmark achievement in their lives.

“I am aware that the Federal University of Technology, Minna, has continued to pursue, with remarkable tenacity, its mandate of driving technological innovation and development for the benefit of our country and humanity at large. Your ranking among universities in the country has been consistently impressive and, as such, I can only encourage all stakeholders in the University not to relent in the pursuit of excellence in the university’s sphere of knowledge production and specialization”, he said.

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