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President approves N18b for four specialised varsities

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Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu

Greets new Iranian leader, promises Nigeria’s cooperation
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved a take-off grant of N18 billion for the establishment of new universities of technology and health sciences.

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

Making the announcement in Abuja, yesterday, Minister of Education Malam Adamu Adamu said the objective was to stimulate rapid technological transformation of the country.

Represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Sunny Echono, Adamu noted that the approval was also in fulfillment of Buhari’s promise to establish an apex national institute of technology in Abuja with six satellite universities of technology, one in each of the six geo-political zones of the country.

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The minister said the new universities of technology would be established in 2021 while the upgrade of the existing four universities of technology and the national institute of technology would come on stream next year.

He said: “After a comprehensive review of the policy by key stakeholders in the education sector, it was 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 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 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 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 two 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.

“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 recognised the compelling need to establish two other specialised universities in health, nutrition and medical sciences to be located in 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.”

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Buhari, meanwhile, has said the election of Iran’s new President, Ebrahim Raisi, “once again reinforces the centrality of the will of the people to the success of democracy anywhere in the world.”

In a reaction to the outcome of the election in Abuja, yesterday, Buhari said, “Raisi deserves his victory in the presidential election.”

He explained, “democracy affords voters the opportunity to change or re-elect their representatives by peaceful means.”

He described Raisi as “a consummate politician with experience to lead his country to greater heights and a better future.”

Buhari also urged Iranians “to brush political differences aside and support Raisi to succeed in efforts to help the country overcome its challenges, including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the crippling sanctions imposed on the country.”

While congratulating Raisi on his victory, Buhari advised the President-elect “to unite the country for the sake of protecting the common interests of Iranians that transcend party lines.”

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