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Tinubu pledges to prioritise tertiary education in Nigeria

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has reiterated the commitment of his administration to prioritise tertiary education that would produce educational institutions globally competitive for the economic…

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has reiterated the commitment of his administration to prioritise tertiary education that would produce educational institutions globally competitive for the economic and technological development of the country.

The President stated this at the weekend in Bauchi during the commissioning of six new block projects worth over N873.666 million at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU) and Tatari Ali Polytechnic (ATAP) both in Bauchi State.

The new buildings are to accommodate the Faculty of Sciences and Faculty of Management Technology at ATBU Bauchi and lecture theatre as well as laboratories in ATAP constructed and equipped by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) under its 2021/2022 merged intervention programmes.

Represented by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Yusuf Maitama Tuggar, Tinubu explained that education development is one of the cardinal priorities of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) led administration saying, “As we all know, education plays a critical role in the socio-economic development of nations. Therefore, the commissioning of these projects today at the university would in no small measure further enhance teaching and learning and improvement of academic standards.”

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The President noted that the government will continue to invest in training and research to widen the scope of academic performance and enhance learning and teaching, adding that everything humanly and administratively possible is being done to ensure that all hitches militating against tertiary education in the country are done with to ensure a smooth academic session.

The President added that TETFund will continue to intervene in providing infrastructure in all tertiary institutions across the country to ensure a conducive environment for learning. He said, “You would recall that in recognition of the role of TETFund in the development of public tertiary educational institutions in Nigeria, and in a bid to support further and strengthen the intervention activities of the fund, the president also approved the implementation of the upward review of Education Tax (EDT) to 3 per cent with effect from September 2023. This, will in no small measure contribute more to the improved funding of the education sector and the development of our public tertiary institutions.

“I wish to reiterate that education forms an integral part of the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu administration’s Renewed Hope agenda,; the Federal Government would continue to provide necessary support towards making our educational institutions globally competitive for economic and technological development of the country.”

“It is on record that over the years, TETFund through the support of the Federal Government has performed exceptionally in the provision of physical infrastructure, support for academic staff training and development, book publication, ICT, Research and Development amongst others in public tertiary educational institutions across the country.

He added, “It is important to note that the Fund has also sponsored 240 lecturers for PhD from this University in both foreign and local totalling N1,799,188,558.57; 13 lecturers for Masters Degrees in both foreign and local institutions totalling N58,580,225; 19 lecturers for benchwork totalling N69,939,060.90; while 432 staff have been sponsored for Conferences Attendance locally and abroad at a total cost of N286,643,070.”

Similarly, the Minister also commissioned three projects at the Abubakar Tatari Ali Polytechnic Bauchi valued at N401,554,348.19 would be commissioned at the polytechnic today.

The projects are: Years 2017-2020 (Merged) Annual Intervention: A 500-seater Capacity Examination Hall; A 300-seater Examination Hall; and a Students’ Hostel Block.

He also advised the management of the University and the Polytechnic to take full advantage of the facilities and make good use of them for the educational and vocational development of the students.