The Peoples Democratic Party’s presidential candidate in the 2023 elections, Atiku Abubakar, has vowed to hand over Federal Government-owned universities to state governments.
The 75-year-old Adamawa-born politician made this known, Monday, as a panelist at the opening ceremony of the 2022 Nigerian Bar Association’s Annual General Conference held at the Eko Hotel and Suites in Lagos.
Speaking during the panel session, Atiku said the Federal Government does not have infinite resources.
“The only way is to make sure that you make conducive environment available to both foreign and local investors to participate in our country, whether it is infrastructure, whether it is education, whether it is power,” he said.
“I had an argument with a university professor from Federal University, Lokoja. He said he read my policy document that I intended to devolve, in other words, to return education to the states. How dare do I do that?
“I said, ‘Mr Professor, do you realise that the first set of our universities belong to the regional governments?’ He said, ‘Yes’. I said who are the successors of the regional government? He said the states.
“I said the children you send to America, to England, who own those universities? Mostly the private sector. So, why is it that you think we cannot do it here? We don’t have the money.”
The conference, with the theme ‘Bold Transitions’, began on Monday and will run until August 26.