By Joseph Erunke
ABUJA—MINISTER of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, has said about N727 billion had been spent by the Federal Government in the last four years on infrastructure development in the nation’s tertiary institutions.
He also attributed poor quality of education in the country to what he referred to as “astronomical population increase.”
Adamu, yesterday, in Abuja, in continuation of his weekly ministerial press briefing, said: “I informed you that the Buhari administration has spent about N727,000,000,000 in developing infrastructure in our tertiary institutions in the last four years.
“Much of this funding went into the provision of hostel accommodation, classrooms, lecture theatres, and laboratories, all in a bid to have more of our young people gain admission into these institutions, thereby enhancing or expanding access to tertiary education.”
He said as part of efforts aimed at addressing the persistent problem of access to university education, occasioned by the low carrying capacity of existing universities as against the growing number of qualified candidates, the Federal Government during the period under review, established or licensed a total of 30 universities, bringing the total number of universities in Nigeria to 169.
“These comprise 43 federal universities, 47 state universities and 79 private universities, with the combined carrying capacity of about two million spaces as against the 1.5 million carrying capacity we inherited when we came in 2015,” he said.
Adamu also said during the period under review, the government established 71 polytechnics, monotechnics and innovation enterprise institutions in the country.
He said: “As you are all aware, this category of institutions was established to provide middle-level technical manpower for the country. This is still in very high demand.
“When we came into office in 2015, the total number of polytechnics/monotechnics/innovative enterprise institutions in the county stood at 298 with a combined carrying capacity of 424,715 spaces.”
“To expand access to Polytechnic/Monotechnics/Innovative enterprise institutions, we established or licensed a total of 71 such institutions during the period under review, with a carrying capacity of 93,228 spaces. Access to such institutions has therefore increased from 424,715 in 2014 to 517,943 in 2019,”he explained.