The Federal Government invested about N1.3 trillion so far towards the development of the country’s education sector in the past four years excluding funds spent on overhead and personnel costs, President Muhammadu Buhari said in Zaria last Thursday.
Speaking while commissioning the multi-billion Naira Ahmadu Bello University Business School built by the Central Bank of Nigeria, the president commended CBN for the gesture.
President Buhari also thanked the apex bank for supporting the federal government’s investments in the education sector and other key areas of the economy.
“By this exercise, we are building on the vision of the founder of this great institution, the late and great Sir Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauna of Sokoto, who, as Premier of Northern Region, established this institution almost six decades ago. It is on record that this University has made giant contributions towards the development of our nation and we remain grateful to the founder of this vision”, President Buhari said.
He expressed concern over the state of facilities in Nigerian universities due to long years of perennial funding challenges and promised, therefore, that his administration would continue to place premium on education at all levels.
The President assured that government would not rest until it delivered on its commitments on quality education, including investing more resources in the sector and providing a conducive learning environment in the academia.
“It is no longer a secret that the state of facilities in our universities and other institutions of higher learning has not kept pace with the requirements of the eve-growing population of students and other stakeholders or with modern methods of learning.
“This has largely been due to the perennial funding challenges over the years. We are committed and determined to continue to fund our vital institutions, even in the face of limited financial resources”, he said.
In his speech, the CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, said the bank would remain committed to providing funding and infrastructural support to the education sector, saying the bank’s involvement in the sector was based on the conviction that an educated workforce had a critical role to play in the advancement of the Nigerian economy.
Emefiele also said the bank’s analysis of the factors responsible for the growth of successful economies indicated that investment in education sector could play a prominent role in driving innovation and growth in developed and emerging economies.
Giving an overview on the newly commissioned ABU Business School, the governor of the apex bank said the project was conceived to produce a critical mass of skilled professionals that would be able to apply their knowledge towards supporting growth and continued innovation in the country’s financial sector and the economy in general.
“This is against the recognition that the dearth of skilled manpower constituted a binding constraint towards making Nigeria the number one hub for economic activity in Africa. The three first generation federal universities in the country across the six geo-political zones were selected under the first phase of the intervention programme. They are Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria; University of Ibadan; and University of Nigeria, Nsukka”, he said.
In his welcome address, the Vice-Chancellor, Ahmadu Bello University, Prof Ibrahim Garba, expressed ABU’s sincere appreciation and gratitude to the president and CBN for donating the CBN Centre of Excellence.
This, according to him, had given the institution a special opportunity of establishing Ahmadu Bello University Business School, already approved by the National Universities Commission as the first of its kind in Nigeria.
He said the ABU Business School was uniquely established as a faculty comprising the Departments of Economics, Accounting, Banking & Finance, Marketing, Acturial Science & Insurance and Business Management in addition to hosting the CBN Centre of Excellence which would anchor the University’s postgraduate training through the Collaborative Postgraduate Programme (CPP).