- Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has stressed that Nigeria needs to find a way to reprioritise its priorities, beginning with education
- According to the governor, government at all levels must begin to look at the sector as one that should be given greater attention.
- He canvassed for more investments in education, with emphasis on funds in terms of human resources and equipment
Owa-Alero - Delta state governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, on Monday, May 2 said Nigeria needs to expand the frontiers of its revenue generation to enable the country to mitigate the funding challenges inhibiting its educational development.
Okowa disclosed this in an interview with journalists shortly after inspecting facilities at the Faculties of Engineering and Environmental Sciences at the Owa-Alero Campus of the University of Delta (UNIDEL), Agbor.
He stated that there was no doubt that the nation need to invest more funds in education in terms of infrastructure, human resources, equipment that is needed, and in ensuring the availability of full internet services in every university in the country.
According to him, it is important to fund the nation's educational system but unfortunately, the nation's economy is challenged.
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"If you look at the national budget and most of the state budgets, you will find out that both the federal and state governments are actually struggling.
"When you have so many competing forces to deal with in an annual budget, you just try to put little funds across here and there.
"Because, in the first instance, you have to ensure that you pay salaries and if at the end of the payment of salaries you have little left, then it is a major problem.
"Whenever I studied the budget of the federal government, l feel very worried about the huge challenge we have as a nation because you find out that every single kobo that is actually going into infrastructural development or capital development is actually borrowed.
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"So, when all your resource that is available outside borrowing goes into recurrent expenditure, there is a huge problem.
"And that is why if you actually study the budget in full at the federal level, what you tend to see is that in the individual sector such as education and health, you have very huge funds available for recurrent expenditure because of payment of salaries."
On the level of work so far executed at the Owa-Alero campus of UNIDEL, he noted that work had progressed, adding that it was his hope that the work should progress a little faster
While saying that the two faculties have been accredited by the National University Commission, the governor disclosed that lectures had since commenced on the campus.
University fees crisis: Gov Okowa’s intervention restores peace in DELSU
Recall that Governor Okowa of Delta on Friday, April 1 said he had intervened in the school fees controversy at Delta State University, Abraka, with a directive to the management of the university to liase with the students' union to bring down the fees to acceptable levels.
Okowa disclosed this after inspection of ongoing works at the University of Delta, Agbor, and the Trauma Centre, Agbor.
He explained that the state government didn't fix school fees for its institutions, but had to intervene in the crisis because of the current hardship prevailing in the country.
More universities in Delta state necessary, says Governor Ifeanyi Okowa
In a related development, Governor Okowa has insisted that the establishment of three new universities in Delta state was very important.
The governor was reacting to the recent criticisms by the Academic Staff Union of Universities concerning the tertiary institutions.
Governor Okowa said the institutions were set up to ensure that no qualified student from the state was denied admission into the university.