The Federal Government has restated its commitment to partner with Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria on fiscal policies formulation.
Mrs Zainab Ahmed, Minister of Finance, Budget, and National Planning made the declaration in Zaria on Saturday.
She said the partnership would enhance the shaping of the Nigerian economy towards sustainable and inclusive growth.
She was speaking at the 14th Annual General Assembly Lecture organised by Ahmadu Bello University Alumni Association where she presented a paper titled “The Role of Universities in Nation Building’’.
She said universities and other tertiary institutions were key drivers for inclusive and sustainable development, especially now that the country needed to build a more resiliently post-COVID 19 economy.
The minister added that administrative leaders and professors at the institutions should be change agents that have the potential to shape and transform their students and also drive development and policy formulation.
“I request Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, to partner with the ministry to drive fiscal policies that shape our economy to a path of sustainable and inclusive growth.
“We welcome your advice and guidance and we will be ready to engage with you,’’ she stressed.
The minister said the Federal Government had made significant investments in infrastructural development in tertiary institutions.
“One of these investments is the deployment of hybrid Solar Power Systems in a number of tertiary institutions.
“The one for ABU is on its way, but so far, four universities have had their solar systems installed and inaugurated and the universities now have 24 hours uninterrupted power supply.
“The power system is not for the university communities alone, but will supply electricity to neighbouring communities,’’ she said.
She added that in 2020, approval was granted to the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) to disburse N395.032 billion for the development of personnel in tertiary institutions.
Mrs Ahmed also said that in 2021, N323.3 billion was approved for TETFund beside the budgetary allocations and Revitalisation Funds for universities to further strengthen the system.
Earlier, Alhaji Sabo Nanono, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, commended the association for giving laptop loans to students under its computer loans scheme.
He said the National Executive Council of the ABU Alumni had set a very high standard for other alumni associations to emulate.
The minister represented Mr Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, at the occasion.
In his remarks, Mr Toma Gyang, Kaduna State Commissioner for Economic Planning, who represented Gov. Nasir El-Rufai, said it was timely to engage universities in nation building.
He said Kaduna State government had showcased outstanding records of commitment to education reforms at all levels. (NAN)