Buhari announces plan to offer free education to science, technology students


The Federal Government is developing a cash transfer programme which will include the provision of free education for science, technology and education students in tertiary institutions, President Muhammadu Buhari has said.
The president announced the plan, aimed at addressing the needs of the poor and vulnerable in the society in his 2016 budget speech at the National Assembly on Tuesday.
He said, “Through the Office of the Vice-President, we are workingnwith various development partners to design an implementable and transparent conditional cash transfer programme for the poorest and
most vulnerable.
“This programme will be implemented in phases. Already, the compilation of registers of the poorest persons is on-going. `In the coming weeks, we will present the full programme, which will
include our home-grown public primary school feeding and free education for science, technology and education students in our tertiary institutions.
“Indeed, this will mark a historic milestone for us as a nation.’’
The president also said the Federal Government would collaborate with states and local governments to tackle the “chronic shortage’’ of teachers in public schools across the country.
He said that under the partnership, government planned to recruit, train and deploy 500,000 unemployed graduates and NCE holders to strengthen basic education, especially in rural areas.
Buhari also said his administration would partner states and local governments to provide financial training and loans for market women,
traders and artisans through cooperative societies.
“We believe that this segment of our society is not only critical to our plan for growing small businesses, but it is also an important platform to create jobs and provide opportunities for entrepreneurs,’’ he said.
The president said that the budget proposal of N6.08 trillion was aimed at reviving the economy, delivering inclusive growth to Nigerians and creating a significant number of jobs.
“We aim to ensure macroeconomic stability by achieving a real GDP growth rate of 4.37 per cent and managing inflation.
“To achieve this, we will ensure the aligning of fiscal, monetary, trade and industrial policies,’’ he added.
He reiterated the determination of his government to tackle the current rate of unemployment and underemployment among the populace, adding that the budget was a platform to put more Nigerians to work.
“I can assure you that this administration will have a job creation focus in every aspect of the execution of this budget.
“Nigeria’s job creation drive will be private sector led. We will encourage this by a reduction in tax rates for smaller businesses as well as subsidised funding for priority sectors such as agriculture
and solid minerals.’’(NAN)

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