The Federal government on Tuesday said additional N25 billion has been released to members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to meet up part of the demands of the union.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, during his valedictory press conference in Abuja.
The Minister explained that the beneficiary institutions would be paid directly.
According to him, the sum of N1.338 trillion had been spent as capital investment in the last four years, adding that UBEC interventions in states had recorded a total of N350 billion, while TETFund and NEEDS Assessment interventions had recorded N857 billion with the main ministry and other agencies recording N86 billion, totalling N1.338 trillion in the last four years.
Adamu said, “Funding has been one of the major challenges facing tertiary education in this country. At the inception of this administration, we inherited an agreement between the Federal Government and ASUU whose total value was put at N1.3tn, which payment was to be spread over six years.
“Between 2014 and 2017, the nation witnessed an economic downturn and consequently there were no releases out of the N1.3tn. However, last year the Federal Government released N20bn directly to universities and all of them have got their share. The Federal Government has just approved an additional N25bn to be shared to beneficiary institutions directly.
“The proliferation of illegal universities in Nigeria has become a source of embarrassment to the country. Such institutions also default in tax. The National Universities Commission, National Board for Technical Education and the National Commission for Colleges have been working to rid the education system of unauthorised tertiary institutions.
“As I speak, over 134 illegal tertiary institutions have been closed down and their operators are currently undergoing prosecution.”
On financing the education sector, the Minister said N1.338 trillion had been spent as capital investment in the last four years.
He mentioned that the UBEC interventions in states had recorded a total of N350 billion, while TETFund and NEEDS Assessment interventions had recorded N857 billion with the main ministry and other agencies recording N86 billion, totalling N1.338 trillion in the last four years.
He noted that if the country continued on the path for 10 years, Nigeria’s challenges would be confined to the dustbin of history.
He said, “In spite of the economic downturn, we have done well in terms of investment in capital expenditure.
“This is aside the N25 billion just approved for public universities. These figures have nothing to do with personnel and overhead cost in the education sector, which are also well over a trillion naira.
“On the basic, secondary and tertiary education, we shall continue on the path of infrastructure and manpower development, increasing carrying capacity and creating unfettered access to all levels of our education for our young people.
“I am convinced that we are where we are in education because we are where we are as a nation. We have done well in education relative to our level of development as a nation.’’
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