President Muhammadu Buhari said Thursday that education and health remain top priorities of his administration.
The president said this when he received a delegation of leaders of thought from Adamawa state led by Governor Umaru Fintiri at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
“I am pleased to hear your remarks, especially focused on issues around education and health. These areas remain priorities for this government especially in its strive to achieve social inclusion and collective prosperity for all Nigerians
“Many of the issues confronting our nation today especially in the areas of insecurity and corruption are directly or indirectly linked to the decades of underinvestment in education and healthcare,” he said.
The president called for concerted effort and collaboration between federal and state governments to address the health and education challenges in the country.
“At the federal level, we are doing our best to address these issues but the federal government cannot do it alone. We need the state and local governments to do their part. This is not about politics; it is the reality.
“Today, majority of Nigerians are below 20 years old and it is projected that our population growth rate will remain among the fastest in the world and this means any plans we have today must take into account the needs of tomorrow,” he said.
The president assured the delegation that the requests presented to him would be reviewed and acted upon.
The delegation had requested for the upgrading of the Madibbo Adama University of Technology (MAUTECH) Yola to a conventional varsity in order to address the human development needs of the university.
He said: “It may interest you Sir to know that MAUTECH which was established in 1981 usually admits students form all over the states and neighbouring countries like Chad, Cameroun and Niger Republics. Though set up as a specialized university, with special attention to core programmes of science, technology and engineering, MAUTECH has been precluded from the running courses to take care of the needs and the peculiarities of her immediate community.
“However, the recent federal government decision, directing the stoppage of management sciences and related disciplines in specialized universities has adversely affected MAUTECH not to talk of even the more serious implication of that decision to the larger society.
“The stoppage of the popular courses will lead to further underdevelopment of an already an educationally disadvantaged and impoverished state, severely devastated by insurgency and insecurity. We therefore request that the university be converted to a conventional one to address the problem,” he said.
The governor also called for the upgrade of the Federal Medical Centre Yola to a teaching hospital in order to address the healthcare needs of the state and its environs.
“Owing to Adamawa state’s lowest human development indices with respect to healthcare services, it is also necessary to increase access to tertiary health, thereby making the need for a teaching hospital. Imperatively there are currently only two teaching hospitals in the North-East located in Bauchi and MAaiduguri. It will therefore be expedient to consider upgrading the Federal Medical Centre Yola to a teaching hospital,” he said.