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President Muhammadu Buhari has approved N18 billion as take-off grants for the establishment of four universities of technology and health sciences.
The 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 of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, said yesterday in Abuja that the approval was to fulfill Buhari’s promise to establish an apex National Institute of Technology (NIT) in Abuja with six satellite universities of technology – one in each of the six geo-political zones.
The minister, represented by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mr. Sonny Ochono, said the new universities of technology would be established this year, while the upgrade of four others and the National Institute of Technology would come on stream next year.
He stated that after a review of the policy by key stakeholders in the education sector, it was resolved that the federal universities of technology located in Yola (North-east), Akure (South-west), Owerri (South-east) and Minna (North-central) be upgraded and equipped.
According to him, two additional universities of technology located in Jigawa and Akwa Ibom States will also be established.
He said: “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 universities of technology, as well as other exceptional graduates from reputable universities within and outside Nigeria.
“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 recognised the compelling need to establish two other specialised 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,” he said.
According to him, to ensure early the take-off of the institutions, the 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.