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Buhari pledges to rejig nation’s varsities for quality education

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Buhari received in audience the leadership of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) at the State House, Abuja. Photo: TWITTER/NIGERIAGOV

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday declared that the Federal Government will henceforth, pay more attention to improving personnel and infrastructure of the nation’s universities to produce quality graduates.

It assured that the government would give education a top priority in the country’s development goals.

Buhari made the assertion when the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) led by its President Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi visited him at the State House, Abuja.

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In a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, he stressed that effective and efficient management of the universities would go a long way in improving the economy, especially with a focus on science and technology.

The President urged ASUU to assist the government in realising its target of improved education and credible certificates by complying with ongoing verification and validation of human resources at the universities, which he said, would guarantee optimum output.

“The future of this country depends on quality education and our certificates must be credible to inspire confidence,” he added.

President Buhari also said constitutional provisions should be carefully studied and adhered to for more harmonious relationships and standards that would promote efficiency.

He directed the Ministry of Education to put in more effort in ensuring that Nigerian universities were properly funded with adequate infrastructure and manpower.

Speaking, Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, disclosed that of the 137,016 academic and non-academic staff members of the nation’s universities, 96,090 have been enrolled in the Integrated Payment and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).

She urged ASUU to encourage the remaining 40,926 members to comply with the process, saying a desk has been created in the Office of Accountant General of the Federation for registration of university staff, assuring that peculiarities of the tertiary institutions would be accommodated.

Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, urged ASUU to comply with IPPIS in the national interest, as his office was already in the process of streamlining all issues of human resources in government.

Responding, Ogunyemi said the educational sector needed more attention, noting that implementation of agreements over the years would go a long way in improving the quality of education in the universities.

“Nigerian universities can contribute meaningfully in addressing challenges of economy, security, and corruption if given the opportunity. Appropriate funding level, competitive conditions of service, university autonomy and academic freedom are critical to creating such an atmosphere,” he stated.

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