President Muhammadu Buhari says Federal Government has provided N470 billion in the 2023 budget “from our constrained resources, for revitalization and salary enhancements in the tertiary institutions.’’
The president stated this while presenting 2023 N20.5trillion budget proposal at a joint session of the National Assembly on Friday in Abuja.
Buhari expressed the hope that the budgetary allocation, would go a long way in addressing the crisis in the nation’s tertiary institutions including ASUU dispute with the government.
According to him, government remains committed to the implementation of agreements reached with staff unions within available resources.
“The Government notes with dismay the crisis that has paralysed activities in the public universities in the country.
“We expect the staff of these institutions to show a better appreciation of the current state of affairs in the country.
“In the determined effort to resolve the issue, we have provided a total of 470.0 billion in the 2023 budget from our constrained resources, for revitalization and salary enhancements in the tertiary institutions.’’
Buhari, however, advocated for the introduction of a more sustainable model of funding tertiary education.
“It is instructive to note that today Government alone cannot provide the resources required for funding tertiary education.
“In most countries, the cost of education is jointly shared between the government and the people, especially at the tertiary level.
“It is imperative therefore that we introduce a more sustainable model of funding tertiary education,’’ he said.
Buhari reiterated the federal government’s position that it would not sign agreement it could not implement.
He maintained that individual institutions would be encouraged to keep faith with any agreement reached in due course to ensure stability in the educational sector.
“Government is equally committed to improving the quality of education at other levels.
“Recently, we implemented various incentives aimed at motivating and enhancing teachers’ development in our schools,’’ he added.
In the health sector, the president said his administration intends to focus attention on equipping existing hospitals and rehabilitating infrastructure, saying emphasis would also be on local production of basic medicines/vaccines.
“As human capital is the most critical resource for national development, our overall policy thrust is to expand our investment in education, health and social protection,’’ he said.
The president assured that the federal government would continue to prioritise women’s empowerment programmes across various Ministries Development Agencies in 2023 to harness the potentials of all Nigerian women.
According to him, this will enable them to productively contribute to the economy.