‘FG invested N1.3tr in education projects in four years’

Buhari unveils N7b CBN centre of excellence at ABU

PresidentT Muhammadu Buhari yesterday disclosed that his administration invested N1.3 trillion in education infrastructure besides personnel and overhead cost in the last four years.

He stated this during the inauguration of the second Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN’s) second Post-Graduate Centre of Excellence at the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, built at the cost of N7 billion.

The first Centre of Excellence was commissioned seven months ago at the University of Nigeria (UNN), Nsukka.

Unveiling the commemorative plaque of the edifice, the President said the project was a testimony to his administration’s effort at supporting quality learning from primary to tertiary level. He said his administration would continue to accord education priority during his second term by ensuring adequate funding for the sector to make it affordable, qualitative and competitive.

While commending the CBN for supporting Federal Government’s investments in the education sector and other key sectors of the economy critical to national development, he urged the apex bank to sustain its funding support for research and economic growth.

Speaking, CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, noted that the bank’s involvement in funding and infrastructure support in the education sector was borne out of the conviction that an educated workforce plays critical role in advancement of the nation’s economy and larger society.

He said an analysis of the factors responsible for the growth of successful economies, indicated that investment in education played a prominent role in driving innovation and growth in advanced and emerging economies and contributed to significant reduction in inequality.

“Hence, the CBN, being a knowledge-driven organisation, had to ensure the sustenance of improvements in institutions of higher learning across the country.

“The Centre of Excellence project was also designed to accommodate the CBN’s Collaborative Postgraduate Programme (CBN-CPP),” he said, describing it as a child of necessity in its intervention programmes in the education sector.

He explained that the project was conceived to produce a critical mass of skilled professionals that would apply their knowledge to supporting growth and continued innovation in the country’s financial sector and the economy.

“This was against the recognition that the dearth of skilled manpower constituted a binding constraint towards making Nigeria the number one hub for economic activities in Africa

“Education and health are the bedrock of every nation’s development. These centres are built in University of Ibadan, UNN and ABU. The project will also be cited in other states, including Lagos and Port Harcourt, Rivers State,” he added.