The Academic Staff Union of Universities has said the Federal Government’s plan to automatically deduct 40 per cent from universities’ Internally Generated Revenue will impoverish the university system.
In October, the Ministry of Finance notified academic institutions across the country of its plan to automatically deduct 40 per cent from their IGR.
ASUU, in a statement signed by its National President, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, on Tuesday after its National Executive Council meeting at the Kaduna State University, Kaduna, explained that universities were not revenue-generating agencies, saying that the obligatory fees paid by students were to provide the necessary tools for them to be properly educated.
The statement said the NEC meeting took place from Saturday 11th to Sunday 12th November 2023, and deliberated on several issues affecting the Nigerian University System and country.
Osodeke advised the FG to remove universities from the list of agencies expected to remit 40 per cent from its IGR.
It read, “NEC reviewed the implications of the recent directive to Federal Universities to remit 40 per cent of their Internally Generated Funds to the coffers of government. NEC condemns the directive in its entirety because it would further impoverish and emasculate the Nigerian university system.
“For the avoidance of doubt, universities are not revenue-generating agencies because the obligatory fees paid by students are to provide the necessary tools for them to be properly educated. NEC calls on the relevant institutions of state to remove universities from this category of government ministries, departments, and agencies regarded as revenue-generating centres because of its implications for affordability and accessibility of education in the country.”
ASUU, during the meeting, lamented the deliberate attempt by the Accountant General’s office to further impoverish its members by the refusal to pay their promotion arrears of majority since 2018.
“NEC also reviewed the unsatisfactory reports on payment of the withheld eight months’ salaries by the government on account of the patriotic strike action of our members in 2022.
NEC calls on the Federal Government to unconditionally release all the withheld salaries as a demonstration of the new administration’s desire to permanently resolve all outstanding issues related to the last strike action of our union,” the statement added.
ASUU also decried the continued victimisation and onslaught against its members at the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Ambrose Alli University Ekpoma, Kogi State University, Anyigba, Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki, Lagos State University, Ojo, and others.