Buhari approves N18bn for take-off of grant for 4 universities

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By Joy Odor

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved a take-off grant of four billion naira each for the new Universities of Technology and five billion each for the Universities of Health Science for their establishment in 2021.

The universities of technology will be located at Jigawa and Akwa Ibom States, while the universities of health sciences will be established in Azare, Bauchi State and Ila Orangun, Osun State respectively.

Announcing the development in Abuja on Monday, the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, said the approval was to fulfill President Buhari’s promise to establish an apex National Institute of Technology (NIT) in Abuja with six satellite Universities of Technology, one in each of thr six geo-political zones of the country.

The Minister, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Mr Sonny Ochono, said the new Universities of Technology will be established in 2021 while the upgrade of the existing four Universities of Technology and the National Institute of Technology will come on stream next year.

This he said, comes after a comprehensive review of the policy by key stakeholders in the education sector and resolved that the four existing Universities of
Technology located in Yola (North East), Akure (South West), Owerri (South East) and Minna (North Central) be upgraded and equipped while two (2nos) additional Universities of Technology to be located in Jigawa and Akwa Ibom States, would be established for the purpose.

The Minister said the decision will lay a solid foundation for building national preparedness and resilience in anticipation of future challenges in the health sector while reducing medical tourism to countries like India, UAE,Egypt, Europe and the USA.

The Federal Ministry of Education will collaborate with the Federal Ministries of Health, Science and Technology, Communications and Digital Economy, the FCT Administration as well as other relevant agencies and Institutions to facilitate speedy actualization of these Legacy Projects of the Buhari Administration.

The Minister’s speech Read:

*ESTABLISHMENT OF NEW TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS*

You will recall that when President Muhammadu Buhari sought the
people’s madate for the Office of President in 2015, he promised to establish an apex National Institute of Technology (NIT) in Abuja with six (6nos) Satellite Universities of Technology, one in each geo-political zone of the
country.

This was captured in the 2015 APC Manifesto and also stressed inthe Education for Change: Ministerial Strategic Plan 2018 – 2022 of the Ministry. The objective is to stimulate rapid technological transformation of the country

After a comprehensive review of the policy by key stakeholders in the
education sector, it was resolved that the four (Anos) existing Universities of
Technology located in Yola (North East), Akure (South West), Owerri (South
East) and Minna (North Central) be upgraded and equipped while two (2nos)
additional Universities of Technology to be located in Jigawa and Akwa Ibom
States, would be established for the purpose.

Similarly, a National Institute of Technology (NIT) shall be established
in Abuja. The Institute shall be patterned after similar institutions in
Singapore and Malaysia to serve essentially as a postgraduate centre
devoted to research and innovation, drawing the best graduates from the six
(6nos) Universities of Technology, as well as other exceptional graduates
from reputable universities within and outside Nigeria.

I am pleased to inform you that President Muhammadu Buhari has
approved the phased development programme, compelled by our lean
resources. Accordingly the 2nos new Universities of Technology will be
established in 2021 while the upgrade of the existing 4nos Universities ofTechnology and the National Institute of Technology will come on streamnext year.

Mr. President also observed from the report of the Presidential TaskForce on Covid-19 (now PSC) that the sudden outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic exposed the weak institutional capacity for disease control and surveillance in the country, particularly with respect to medical facilities, modern laboratory equipment, trained personnel and supporting infrastructure.

With the recent establishment of the only Federal Government owned University of Health Sciences, Otukpo in Benue State and the huge gap in Doctor-patient ratio as well as in medical research and production of pharmaceutical products, Government recognized the compelling need to establish two (2nos) other specialized universities in Health, Nutrition and Medical Sciences to be located at Azare, Bauchi State and Ila Orangun, Osun State. These shall lay a solid foundation for building national preparedness and resilience in anticipation of future challenges in the health sector while reducing medical tourism to countries like India, UAE,Egypt, Europe and the USA.

To ensure early take-off of these institutions, Mr. President approved a take-off grant of N4 Billion each for the Universities of Technology and N5Billion each for the Universities of Health Science from the funding Resources of Tetfund.

The Federal Ministry of Education will collaborate with the Federal Ministries of Health, Science and Technology, Communications and Digital Economy, the FCT Administration as well as other relevant agencies and Institutions to facilitate speedy actualization of these Legacy Projects of the Buhari Administration.

I thank you all for your attention.

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