The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has expressed its opposition to the requirement that public tertiary institutions remit 40 percent of their internally generated revenues (IGR) to the federal government.
The government’s decision to implement a 40 percent automatic deduction from the IGR of federal universities and other partially funded institutions faced sharp criticism from ASUU.
Following its national executive council (NEC) meeting on Monday, ASUU issued a statement, signed by its president, Emmanuel Osodeke, denouncing the directive.
The union argued that such a move would further impoverish and weaken already struggling public universities.
“NEC condemns the directive in its entirety because it would further impoverish and emasculate the Nigeria university system,” stated ASUU in its official statement.
ASUU emphasized that universities are not revenue-generating agencies with substantial funds to remit IGR to the federal coffers.
The union clarified that the obligatory fees paid by students are intended to provide the necessary tools for them to receive a proper education.
“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,” the statement read.
ASUU’s NEC called on the relevant institutions of the state to reconsider the classification of universities as government agencies required to remit IGR. The union argued that such a move is essential for preserving the affordability and accessibility of education in the country.
In addition to addressing the IGR issue, ASUU also condemned the recent attack on Joe Ajaero, president of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), in Imo state.
The NLC had threatened to ground activities in Imo from November 1, protesting the alleged violation and abuse of rights and privileges of workers. Ajaero claimed that some workers in Imo had not been paid for 20 months.
ASUU expressed its solidarity with the NLC’s legitimate demands and stated that it would resist any attempt to portray the workers’ demands as partisan.
“NEC demands that the perpetrators of this dastardly act should be fished out and punished in line with the provisions of the law,” the union asserted.