My Government Will Return Federal Universities To States – Atiku Abubakar

Former Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the current presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the forthcoming 2023 elections in the country, Mr. Atiku Abubakar has promised that he would embark on devolution of powers in the education sector by handing over all the federal universities to states if elected president.

Atiku made the declaration at the opening ceremony of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) general conference in Lagos. The PDP standard bearer said one of his proposed reforms is to create an enabling environment for foreign and local investors. Abubakar said the reform will include healthcare and education because the government alone cannot bring about development.

He added, “One of the fundamental reforms I have in my policy document is to encourage the private sector as far as the development of the country is concerned — both foreign and local. It is very essential because the federal government does not have the resources to do all the things that they want to do. The only way is to make sure that a conducive environment is available for the local and foreign investors to participate in the development of our country, whether it is infrastructure, education, and healthcare,” he said.

Atiku further stated that the first set of universities in Nigeria belonged to the regional governments adding that most universities in England or the US are owned by the private sector.

“I had an argument with a university professor from Federal University, Lokoja. He said he read in my policy document that I intend to devolve, in other words, to return education to the states. How dare I do that? I said: ‘Mr Professor, do you realise that the first set of our universities belongs 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 or 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,” he added.

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