If elected, Atiku promises to turn over federal universities to state governments.


If elected president in 2023, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has committed to transfer control of federal universities to state governments.

Atiku stated that the Federal Government does not have unlimited resources during the opening ceremony of the Nigerian Bar Association's Annual General Conference in Lagos.

"Encouraging the private sector — both international and domestic — as far as the development of the country is concerned is one of the essential reforms I have in my policy plan. Because the federal government lacks the funding to complete all of its goals, it is absolutely necessary.

"The only solution is to ensure that an atmosphere is open for both domestic and foreign investors to take part in the growth of our country, whether it be infrastructure, education, or healthcare.

I got into a fight with a lecturer at Lokoja's Federal University. He claimed to have seen in my policy document my intention to devolve, or to hand back control of education to the states. How indiscreet of me!" Do you realise, Mr. Professor, that the first group of our universities is owned by the regional governments? I asked. He replied, "Yes." I questioned, "Who will succeed the regional government?" The states, he said.

"I replied who owns the universities in America or England that you send your children to? the majority of the private sector. Why do you think we can't do it here, then? We lack the necessary funds.

Atiku made a statement about the state of the country, claiming that since 1999, Nigeria has not seen this level of unemployment, instability, and poverty.

"Nigeria has never found itself in such a very very critical position in our history since the restoration of democracy in 1998/99.

"All the negative indices have been there today. We are a divided country right now. This amount of poverty is unprecedented. This level of uncertainty is something we have never known. This degree of unemployment is unprecedented. 

"This is where history and experience beckon on us to make sure that we don't get it wrong at this point in time otherwise if we get it wrong," we have recognised all these terrible developments in our history. When will we ever get it right? I don't know. 

In the days of the military, I participated in the fight to bring democracy back to this nation. Since so many of my contemporaries have died in this conflict, I can actually say that I'm lucky to still be alive," he remarked. "By the grace of God, I've made it this far."


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