Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), says he will triple the budget for education sector if elected president.
Speaking during the Silverbird Man of the Year event on Sunday, Atiku also said he would end the incessant strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) from his first day as president.
The Buhari administration allocated 7.04% of the N9.120 trillion 2018 budget to education.
Federal universities have been shut down since November when ASUU embarked on strike following government’s failure to implement the agreement reached in November 2016.
The lecturers are demanding among things, the disputed registration of the Nigerian Universities Pension Management Company, fractionalisation of salaries in federal universities, gross under-funding and non-funding of state universities.
According to Atiku, the industrial action will receive his first attention as president if voted into office on February 16.
“I am aghast that as I speak, our students across the nation are not being educated due to the ASUU strike caused by an unresolved debate of about N60billion,” he said during the event which held in Lagos.
“If I get the job I am seeking, my first task on day one – along with naming my cabinet – will be to end this disgraceful strike and get our students back to their studies.
“I will also triple the amount the Nigerian Government spends on education from 7 percent of its budget today, not just to the 15 per cent recommended by UNESCO, but to 20 per cent.
“I recognize the value education can bring to the individual and the nation. But even more than that, I want every child in Nigeria to have the opportunities I had.”
Atiku also said the presidential election presents an opportunity for “a turning point” in the country’s development, adding that he has the requisite experience to “drive Nigeria to prosperity.”