By Ismaila Chafe
President Muhammadu Buhari has again called on striking Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to return to the classroom while assuring them to deal with their contending issues within the limits of the scarce resources available.
The president, who reiterated the call in a nationwide broadcast on Saturday in Abuja, said he was pained by the recurring disruption to nation’s tertiary education system.
The broadcast was part of activities to mark the nation’s 62nd Independence Day Anniversary.
According to him, the Federal Government will continue to mobilise resources, both internationally and nationally, towards funding education to ensure that citizens are well educated and skilled in various vocations.
”I must confess that I am very pained by the recurring disruption to our tertiary education system.
”I am using this Independence Day celebration to re-iterate my call for the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to return to the classroom while assuring them to deal with their contending issues within the limits of the scarce resources available.
”This administration has made appreciable progress in redressing these issues that have been lingering for over eleven years.
According to him, this is in view of the fact that education is a leading determinant of economic growth and employment generation.
”As we put in place all measures to ensure that Nigeria takes her place in the Comity of Nations, we recognise the importance of a well-educated populace as a panacea to most of the challenges we face.
”We have, therefore, pursued policies and implemented programmes designed to create a literate and proficient society that ensures that citizens are availed with opportunities for life-long achievements.”
On health sector, the Nigerian leader revealed that his administration had also improved the nation’s health facilities, especially during and after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said this had attracted commendation of the global community.
”As you are aware, Nigeria was one of the countries that defied global predictions of the socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic because of our resilience, commitment and passion with which we individually and collectively managed the pandemic.”
He also disclosed that his administration embarked on addressing critical ecological challenges across the country, to mitigate the impact of Climate Change manifesting in the form of flood, soil erosion, desertification, air pollution amongst others.
According to the president, the Federal Government will continue to ensure that the nation’s infrastructure drive remains the key to Nigeria’s economic growth and for which every Nigerian will feel the impact.
He said Federal Government had already embarked on expanding ports operations to provide opportunities for the growth of the Nigerian economy.
”We have also continued to accelerate our infrastructure development through serviceable and transparent borrowing, improved capital inflow and increased revenue generation,” he said.
This, he said, was being carried out by expanding the tax bases and prudent management of investment proceeds in the Sovereign Wealth Fund.
On transportation, Buhari stated that his administration had continued to boost the railway infrastructure to further open up communities to economic activities.
He said already a good number of critical railway projects had been completed and at the same time, rehabilitating and upgrading obsolete equipment. (NAN)