By Naomi Sharang
President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the Federal Government has provided N470 billion in the 2023 Budget for revitalisation and salary enhancements in the tertiary institutions.
The President said this when he presented the 2023 Appropriation Bill of N20.5 trillion to a joint session of the National Assembly.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the budget is tagged “Budget of Fiscal Sustainability and Transition”.
Buhari who said that the amount was from constrained resources was aimed at revitalisation and salary enhancements in the tertiary institutions.
“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 N470 billion in the 2023 budget from our constrained resources, for revitalisation and salary enhancements in the tertiary institutions.
“It is instructive to note that 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 further said that government remained committed to the implementation of agreements reached with staff unions within available resources.
“This is why we have remained resolute that we will not sign any agreement that we would be unable to implement.
“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.”
On the health sector, Buhari said that the government intened to focus attention on equipping existing hospitals and rehabilitating infrastructure.
“Emphasis will 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.”
Buhari also said that the administration would continue to prioritise women’s empowerment programmes across various Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) in 2023.