President Muhammadu Buhari has approved a take-off grant of N18 billion for the establishment of new universities of technology and health sciences.
Six years after President Muhammadu Buhari promised to establish Universities of Technology in his manifesto as a candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC in 2015, the ministry of education has announced the Presidential approval to establish six federal universities of Technology across Nigeria.
The minister, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Sunny Echono, noted that the approval was also in fulfilment of President Buhari’s promise to establish a National Institute of Technology (NIT) in Abuja with six satellite universities of technology, one in each of the six geo-political zones of the country.
Permanent secretary ministry of education , Sonny Echono who announced this at a media briefing noted that president Buhari blamed the lean resources for the delay in keeping to his promises in technological advancement.
The permanent secretary also told journalists that President Muhammadu Buhari is very unhappy following how covid-19 has exposed the weak health institutions and facilities and has given full support for the Federal University of Health Services Otukpo
The new universities of technology will be located in Jigawa and Akwa Ibom states, while the universities of health sciences will be established in Azare, Bauchi State and Ila Orangun, Osun State.
The minister said the new universities of technology will be established in 2021 while the upgrade of the existing four Universities of Technology and the National Institute of Technology will come on stream next year.
.“Similarly, a National Institute of Technology (NIT) shall be established in Abuja. The Institute shall be patterned after similar institutions in Singapore and Malaysia to serve essentially as a postgraduate centre devoted to research and innovation, drawing the best graduates from the six (6nos) Universities of Technology, as well as other exceptional graduates from reputable universities within and outside Nigeria.
“I am pleased to inform you that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the phased development programme, compelled by our lean resources. Accordingly the 2nos new Universities of Technology will be established in 2021 while the upgrade of the existing 4nos Universities of Technology and the National Institute of Technology will come on stream next year.
“With the recent establishment of the only Federal Government owned University of Health Sciences, Otukpo in Benue State and the huge gap in Doctor-patient ratio as well as in medical research and production of pharmaceutical products, Government recognized the compelling need to establish two (2nos) other specialized universities in Health, Nutrition and Medical Sciences to be located at Azare, Bauchi State and Ila Orangun, Osun State.
“These shall lay a solid foundation for building national preparedness and resilience in anticipation of future challenges in the health sector while reducing medical tourism to countries like India, UAE,Egypt, Europe and the USA.
“To ensure early take-off of these institutions, Mr President approved a take-off grant of N4 Billion each for the Universities of Technology and N5 billion each for the Universities of Health Science from the funding Resources of Tetfund,” he added.