President Muhammadu Buhari said on Thursday that the Federal Government invested close to N1.3trillion on the education sector in the last four years as part of his commitment to deliver quality education to Nigerians.
He explained that the money excluded the budget for personnel and over head costs.
The President spoke in Zaria while inaugurating the Post Graduate Centre of Excellence built by the Central Bank of Nigeria for Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.
The project is located at the Samaru campus of the institution.
‘‘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”, Buhari said.
The President acknowledged the decay in infrastructure in the country’s universities, blaming the situation largely on lack of adequate funds.
However, he promised that his administration would work toward addressing the problem.
‘‘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”, a State House statement by Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, quoted the President as saying.
Speaking further on the value of tertiary education, he added, ‘‘The wealth of nations today is being shaped by investment in education rather than emphasis on mineral resources.
‘‘Investment in education is a critical factor in driving innovation, technological advancements and employment opportunities in advanced economies.”
Meanwhile, the President also disclosed that the federal government part-funded Galma Dam water project in Zaria, Kaduna State, to tune of N11.8billion.
He explained the decision was proof of his administration’s resolve to “continue to implement policies and execute people-oriented projects that will change the narrative for Nigerians.”
Buhari had inaugurated the multi-purpose 186.1million cubic meters project on Thursday.
‘’This project is the culmination of the joint efforts of the Federal Government of Nigeria, Kaduna State Government, Islamic Development Bank and the African Development Bank.
‘’The multilateral nature of the funding for this project underscores the great importance the Kaduna State Government and the Federal Government attach to this project, which is designed to provide adequate water to the growing city of Zaria and its environs”, he stated.
He commended the state Governor, Nasiru El Rufai for completing the project, many years after it took off.
‘‘I am aware that the governor undertook to offset all outstanding payments to the contractor in 2015, which led to the resumption of construction activities at the 150 million litres-per- day water treatment plant”, he added.
He also thanked development partners, saying, ‘’To our multilateral partners, the Islamic Development Bank and the African Development Bank, we are grateful for your part in providing the needed funding to undertake and complete the transmission mains, service reservoirs, booster stations and distribution network.
‘’We could not have done it without your contributions. We are hopeful that this partnership will continue as we seek to reach out to other communities, cities and states in Nigeria to provide water facilities and other essential services.”