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Thursday, October 6, 2022

#2023: Tragedy: Atiku To Hand Over Fed. Varsities To States If Elected.

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The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 election Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, has said he will hand over Federal Government-owned universities to state governments after he assumes power.

Atiku Abubakar stated this on Monday as a panellist at the 2022 Nigerian Bar Association’s Annual General Conference held at the Eko Atlantic City in Lagos State.

Headline news.news reported that the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate’s running mate, Kashim Shettima and Labour Party’s Peter Obi were all present at the conference.

The 2022 NBA AGM is themed “BOLD Transitions” and its General Conference was expected to hold between August 19 to 26, with the opening ceremony happening today.

Speaking on Monday during the panel session aired live on Channels Television, Atiku said the Federal Government does not have infinite resources.

“The only way is to make sure that you make conducive environment available to both foreign and local investors to participate in our country, whether it is infrastructure, whether it is education, whether it is power,” he said.

“I had an argument with a university professor from Federal University, Lokoja. He said he read in my policy document that I intended to devolve, in other words, to return education to the states. How dare do I do that?

“I said, ‘Mr Professor, do you realise that the first set of our universities belong to the regional governments?’ He said, ‘Yes’. I said who are the successors of the regional government? He said the states.

“I said the children you send to America, to England, who own those universities? Mostly the private sector. So, why is it that you think we cannot do it here? We don’t have the money.”

Recall, that the ongoing ASUU strike began on February 14, 2022, before the Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities, and Allied Educational Institutions (NASU) National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) joined.

Some of the things the union is agitating for include; the release of revitalisation funds for universities, renegotiation of the 2009 FGN/ASUU agreement, release of earned allowances for university lecturers, and deployment of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS).

Meanwhile, many politicians and government officials have been pictured overseas at the graduation of their children in schools abroad, even during the ongoing strike, a development that has been criticised and described as insensitive by rights activists and many concerned Nigerians.

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