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President Muhammadu Buhari has called for a “more sustainable model of funding tertiary education” and maintained that government alone cannot do it.

He said this on Friday at the National Assembly while presenting a record N20.51 trillion 2023 budget proposal, pinning his argument on the fact that the cost of tertiary education is “jointly shared” in most countries.

“Distinguished Senators and Honourable members, it is instructive to note that today Government alone cannot provide the resources required for funding tertiary education,” he told the lawmakers.

“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.”

‘Govt Remains Committed’

His comment comes on the backdrop of the lingering strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) which is pushing for more funding of tertiary institutions among other demands.

The Federal Government, which is in a legal tussle with the union, argued that it is constrained by limited resources, a position President Buhari re-echoed during his speech.

“The Government remains 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,” Buhari added.

“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.

“In the health sector, the Government intends 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.”