By Nabilu Balarabe
Mr Alkasim Bala, a lecturer with Federal Polytechnic Damaturu, Yobe, has commended the Federal Government for the allocation of N470 billion tertiary institutions’ expenditure in the 2023 appropriation bill.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday presented N20.5 trillion proposed 2023 budget to a joint session of the National Assembly.
The president said N470 billion has been earmarked for revitalisation and salary enhancement in tertiary institutions.
Bala, who spoke while reacting to the budget presentation, described the gesture as “welcome development.”
He said it would go along way towards addressing the lingering impasse between the government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) over the union’s welfare.
Bala, who is with the Mass Communication Department of the institution, however, said government alone cannot run tertiary institutions in the country.
“I agree with Mr President that government alone cannot adequately fund tertiary institutions. The private sector most key in.
“Let us tell ourselves the truth, most of the foreign universities we admire are not run by government, but private individuals.
“Time has come for us to begin to find alternative funds for university education. We can introduce the students loan scheme in our institutions.
“Students can borrow money from government or any other organisation with the agreement that such money would be repaid by the students when they completed their studies,” he said.
Also, Muhammad Ibrahim, a Bauchi-based environmentalist, commended the Buhari’s administration for the feat achieved in infrastructure development in the country.
He said the President had demonstrated great political commitment towards provision of modern infrastructure for sustainable social and economic development in the country.
“Nigeria under the stewardship of Muhammadu Buhari made significant progress in infrastructure development in social and economic spheres necessary for rapid development of the country,” he said.
The president, while reviewing the 2022 budget performance, said his administration had implemented several priority projects focusing on the completion of key road and rail projects; effective implementation of power sector projects, provision of clean water, construction of irrigation infrastructure and dams as well as critical health projects such as upgrading Primary Health Care Centres across the six geopolitical zones.
Buhari said the government through the Road Infrastructure Tax Credit Scheme was currently undertaking the construction and rehabilitation of about 2,000 kilometres of roads and bridges, nationwide, to be financed by the grant of tax credits to investing private companies.
He said the administration made appreciable progress in the rehabilitation and reconstruction of Lagos – Ibadan expressway, Abuja-Kaduna-Kano expressway and East-West Road in Niger Delta.
“Work has also reached completion stage on the Apapa – Oworonsoki expressway, Loko-Oweto Bridge and the Second Niger Bridge.
“We hope to commission these projects before the end of our tenure in 2023,” the president said. (NAN)