The Federal Government has disbursed N42.2 billion Universal Basic Education (UBE) Matching Grant to 26 States and the FCT to ensure proper funding at the country’s basic education level.
President Muhammadu Buhari made this known in a nationwide broadcast to mark the 19th anniversary of Nigeria’s nascent democracy and the 3rd anniversary of his administration in Abuja on Tuesday.
He announced that N851.5 million Special Education Grant was also disbursed to 23 states and private providers of Special Education, and N2.2 billion Teachers Professional Development Fund to 33 States and the FCT.
He reassured that the APC-led federal government would continue to support the implementation of various initiatives aimed at improving the quality of basic education delivery in the country.
He further observed that the education sector especially at tertiary level had continued to witness expansion in order to improve access to higher education by millions of youths in Nigeria.
“Over the last three years, Government has approved the establishment of one new Federal Polytechnic, granted licenses for the establishment of four State and 14 private-owned Universities as well as 12 private Polytechnics,’’ he added.
The president said the federal government had continued to support fiscal sustainability at the sub-national governments through the implementation of the Budget Support Facility which was accompanied by the 22-point Fiscal Sustainability Plan.
He stated that bailout funds were made available to States to ease their fiscal challenges and other obligations including payment of salaries.
He added that 73 Ecological Fund projects for the control of gully erosion in different communities across all geopolitical zones had been completed in the last three years and were undergoing commissioning.
Besides, the president disclosed that 53 other projects were ongoing, saying that the execution of these projects had generated 357 skilled jobs and 1,350 unskilled jobs during this period.
Buhari saluted Nigerian women for their contributions to economic growth and development of the country.
He said: “It is pertinent to also make mention of the immeasurable contributions of the Nigerian woman to national development and advancement of democracy, over the last three years.
“The government and people appreciate you all as mothers of our great country.
“My dear country men and women, as we all celebrate our democratic experience, let us resolve to avoid hatred and intolerance; we can only achieve our objectives in an atmosphere of harmony and peaceful co-existence.’’
The president expressed optimism that the up-coming months would usher the nation into another season of general elections.
He, therefore, urged all citizens to conduct themselves at both wards and constituency levels with the utmost sense of fairness, justice and peaceful co-existence to ensure not only hitch-free elections, but also a credible and violence free process.
“In few days to come, I will be joined by many promising young Nigerians to sign into law the `Not Too Young to Run’ Bill,’’ the president said. (NAN)