The Delta State government says it spends more than N800 million monthly to pay salaries of six tertiary institutions, including polytechnics and colleges of education.
The Commissioner for Higher Education, Patrick Muoboghare, told journalists, on Wednesday, in Asaba, that the universities would provide quality education, pointing out that the exigencies of the times made the state government transform three existing higher institutions, to universities.
“The federal government, by a deliberate policy, has gradually phased out the higher national diplomas,” the commissioner said, adding that this led to the urgent need to upgrade one of the colleges to a university.
Mr. Patrick Muoboghare added, “The state government currently funds the monthly wage bills of N457.5 million for the three states colleges of education; Agbor, Mosogar, and Warri with a total staff strength of 1,895 and student population of only 2,888.”
In addition, according to him, the monthly wage bill for the state’s three polytechnics, Ozoro, Ogwashi-Uku, and Oghara was N342.2 million, while that of Delta State University, Anwai campus, was N52.3 million.
The government, on Tuesday, transmitted an executive bill to the House of Assembly, seeking to upgrade the College of Education, Agbor, to a university of education.
He noted that upgrading the institutions would provide opportunities for qualified Delta youths seeking university admission, but were edged out due to the quota system and limited available spaces.
“These are the ones, who, in an attempt to avoid staying idle at home, find themselves in various expensive sub-degree programmes in the universities, polytechnics, and college of education.
“So, we need to provide for qualified and ambitious children and this we are doing through the establishment of new universities, by upgrading three existing tertiary institutions to full-fledged universities,” the commissioner added.