President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday in Abuja said Federal Government will give more attention to improving personnel and infrastructure of universities to produce quality graduates, assuring that education will, henceforth, be a top priority in development goals of the country.
President Buhari, who received leadership of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) led by Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi at the State House, said effective and efficient operations of universities will go a long way in improving the economy, especially with focus on science and technology.
The President urged members of ASUU to assist the Federal Government in realising the target of improved education and credible certificates by complying with ongoing verification and validation of human resources in the universities, which will guarantee optimum output.
“The future of the country depends on quality education and our certificates must be credible to inspire confidence,’’ he said.
President Buhari said constitutional provisions should be carefully studied and adhered to for more harmonious relationships, and standards that will promote efficiency.
The President directed the Ministry of Education to put in more effort in ensuring that Nigerian universities are properly funded, with adequate infrastructure and staffing.
In her remarks at the meeting, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, said out of the 137,016 academic and non-academic staff members of the universities, 96,090 have been enrolled in the Integrated Payment and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), urging ASUU to encourage the remaining 40,926 members to comply with the process.
She said a desk has been opened in the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation for registration of university staff, assuring that peculiarities of the tertiary institutions will be accommodated.