President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurates the the Zaria Water supply expansion (image courtesy: State House)

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday at the inauguration of the Post Graduate Centre of Excellence at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State, said that the wealth of nations was determined by investment in education.

According to him, it was better to invest in education than mineral resources to overcome poverty.

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“The wealth of nations today is being shaped by investment in education rather than an emphasis on mineral resources,” he said.

“Investment in education is a critical factor in driving innovation, technological advancements and employment opportunities in advanced economies.

“Let me reiterate here that this administration places much premium on education at all levels, as it is the bedrock of society’s progress, and the way to overcome poverty.”

He said his administration would not rest until it delivers on its commitments on quality education, including investing more resources in the sector and providing a conducive learning environment in academia.

“It is no longer a secret that the state of facilities in our universities and other institutions of higher learning has not kept pace with the requirements of the ever-growing population of students and other stakeholders or with modern methods of learning,” he added.

“This has largely been due to the perennial funding challenge over the years. As an administration, we are committed and determined to continue to fund our vital institutions, even in the face of limited financial resources.”

The President expressed confidence that efforts at improving access to quality education in tertiary institutions would enable young Nigerians to make meaningful contributions towards the nation’s development.

He further disclosed that the Federal Government had invested about N1.3 trillion towards the development of the education sector in the past four years.

He said: ‘‘By this exercise, we are building on the vision of the founder of this great institution, Late and great Sir Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauna of Sokoto, who, as Premier of Northern Nigeria, established this institution almost six decades ago.

‘‘It is on record that this University has made giant contributions towards the development of our nation and we remain grateful to the Founder of this vision.’’

Meanwhile, Kaduna State governor Nasir El-Rufai said the project was another milestone in reversing the shortage of water in Zaria and ending the pain endured by the residents of the city.

He acknowledged former VP Namadi Sambo for initiating the project and the Emir of Zazzau, Dr. Shehu Idris, for his tireless advocacy for the project and his efforts to give Zaria people hope during the decades of water scarcity.

He said: “It is an honour to welcome you all to the ancient city of Zaria for this historic commissioning of Phase II of the Zaria Water Supply Expansion Project. It is another milestone in reversing the shortage of water in Zaria and ending the pain endured by the residents of the city.

“Mr. President, the people of Zaria are evidently delighted to see you. They have consistently provided you some of the biggest votes in your political area. It is only fitting that you are with them today to celebrate the restoration of public water supplies to Zaria.

“Anyone younger than 30 years who resides in Zaria has probably never seen water flow from the public grid. Thanks to the completion of the new water treatment plant in 2017 & the construction of transmission & distribution infrastructure, what was once a dream is now reality.

“Zaria Water Project aims to improve access to sustainable potable water in Zaria metropolis and its environs. Water is critical to human welfare and its availability in reliable and safe quantities helps economic and commercial activities, apart from improving health outcomes.”