Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, says the state can no longer sustain the over N6bn annual recurrent expenditure to the state-owned Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Amassoma.
He, therefore, asked the NDU authorities to seek alternative sources of funding the institution.
Dickson spoke during a visit to the institution, a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Iworiso-Markson, stated on Monday.
The governor, who also approved the award of N6.1bn contracts for the NDU, said the payment of bursary allowances would commence by June this year.
The governor stressed the need for the institution to prioritise its needs, saying the visit was to enable him to have first-hand information about the challenges of the school.
He also advised the NDU authorities to explore other frontiers of knowledge by developing a robust consultancy department as one of the options of revenue generation to make the university financially autonomous.
Dickson, who described education as one of most compelling needs of the state, said the award of N6bn worth of contracts for the execution of capital projects in the next two months, was to enhance educational advancement of the institution.
Stressing the need for the downward review of the institution’s recurrent expenditure, Dickson noted that the inspection of projects and facilities at the school had given him an insight into its challenges.
He said, “This university is the only state-owned university that has a recurrent expenditure that is higher than any other state university. Available records show that your government spends close to N500m every month on payment of salaries and sundry entitlements. Now, I have told your vice-chancellor and the Governing Council that that is not sustainable.
“What is the students’ population for which the state government is spending N6bn every year that is outside investments on infrastructure. I am aware that the responsibility entrusted on me at this point in our history to bring about restoration means that we must take decisions that are right and fair even when they are sometimes unpleasant.”
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