President Bola Tinubu, on Saturday, said that his administration will continue to prioritise tertiary education in order to ensure that the graduates produced are of high academic quality and can stand anywhere in the world.
The president was speaking in Bauchi when he commissioned 6 projects worth over N873.666m in Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU) and Tatari Ali Polytechnic (ATAP) all in Bauchi.
The buildings are to accommodate the Faculty of Sciences and Faculty of Management Technology at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU), Bauchi, lecture theatre and laboratories in ATAP constructed and equipped by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) under its 2021/2022 merged intervention programmes.
Speaking at the commissioning ceremony, the President who was represented by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Yusuf Maitama Tuggar said that education development is one of cardinal priorities of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) led Federal Government.
He stressed that everything humanly and administratively possible is being done to ensure that all hitches militating against tertiary education in the country are done with in order 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 in order to ensure a conducive environment for learning.
Bola Ahmed Tinubu further said that government will continue to invest in training and research to widen the scope of academic performance and enhance learning and teaching.
The President also said; “It is important to also commend and appreciate the President for the commitment he has demonstrated towards the development of education since the commencement of his administration in May 29, 2023.”
He said; “such as the introduction of the students’ loan initiative to ease access to tertiary education for indigent students, meeting personally with the leadership of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) to discuss the welfare of Nigerian students and recently, approving waiver of the ‘No Work, No Pay’ order on the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), which would pave the way for members of the union to receive part of their withheld salaries.”
According to him, “These are part of conscious efforts being made by this administration to address students’ challenges and create industrial harmony between staff unions and Government.
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 further support and strengthen the intervention activities of the Fund, the President also approved the implementation of the upward review of Education Tax (EDT) to 3 percent with effect from September 2023.”
“This, will in no small measure contribute more to the improved funding of the education sector and development of our public tertiary institutions,” the President said.
He stressed, “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.”
He further said, “I wish to reiterate that education forms an integral part of the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu administration’s Renewed Hope agenda, hence the Federal Government would continue to provide necessary support towards making our educational institutions globally competitive for economic and technological development of the country.”
According to him, “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.”
The President added, “I wish to assure you that the administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu remains totally committed towards providing greater support and the enabling environment to enable the Fund to improve on its performance.”
He also said, “I am delighted to note that apart from Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, other public tertiary educational institutions in Bauchi State namely: Federal University of Health Sciences Azare, Bauchi State University Gadau, Federal Polytechnic Bauchi, Abubakar Tatari Ali Polytechnic and College of Education Azare have not been exempted from the intervention efforts of TETFund.”
According to him, “In continuation of the efforts of the Federal Government through the intervention activities of TETFund, I am delighted to note that four projects valued at N472,112,546.83 would be commissioned at the University today.”
The projects are: Departmental Building (B) 2017/2020 (merged) Annual intervention; Departmental Building (C) Under 2017/2020 (merged) Annual intervention; Classrooms and Laboratories 2017/2020 (merged) Annual intervention; and Academic Building for School of Management Technology 2021/2022 (merged) Annual intervention.
“It is important to note that the Fund has also sponsored 240 Lecturers for Ph.D. from this University in both foreign and local totaling N1,799,188,558.57; 13 lecturers for Masters Degrees in both foreign and local institutions totalling N58,580,225; 19 lecturers for benchwork totaling N69,939,060.90; while 432 staff have been sponsored for Conferences Attendance locally and abroad at a total cost of N286,643,070,” The President stressed.
He added, “As we dedicate these structures to the Glory of God and humanity, I wish to request that the University take full advantage of these facilities and make good use of them for the educational and vocational development of our students. Thank you and God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“As we gather here today for this auspicious occasion, let me congratulate the Vice Chancellor, Prof Muhammad A. Abdulazeez, the Rector, the management staff and students of this great university for the developmental strides at the institution,” he added.
At the ATAP, the President said, “In continuation of the efforts of the Federal Government through the intervention activities of TETFund, I am delighted to note that three projects 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 Students’ Hostel Block.
It is important to note that the Fund has also sponsored 97 Lecturers for Ph.D. from this Polytechnic in both foreign and local institutions totalling N785,545,942.80 and 172 for Masters Degrees in both foreign and local institutions totalling N319,687,369.15. while 472 staff have been sponsored for Conferences Attendance locally and abroad at a total cost of N177,743,377.60
The President also congratulated and commended the Executive Secretary of TETFund, Arc. Sonny S.T. Echono and his team for their efforts in effectively discharging the mandate of the Fund for the continuous development of public tertiary education in Nigeria.
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