In a surprising turn of events, President Bola Tinubu has officially canceled the automatic deduction of 40% from the internally generated revenues (IGR) of federal universities. The announcement was made during the 75th Founder’s Day ceremony of the University of Ibadan, where Tinubu, represented by the Minister of Education, Tahir Mamman, addressed the ongoing concerns surrounding the policy’s untimely implementation.
The controversial policy, outlined in a leaked memo dated October 17, had mandated a 40% automatic deduction from the IGR of federal universities. This move was met with widespread condemnation from various quarters. The memo cited the Finance Act of 2020 as the legal basis for the decision, prompting concerns about the potential adverse effects on the already challenging university system.
The Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’adu Abubakar, had earlier expressed his disapproval of the policy, highlighting its potential to further strain the university system.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and other stakeholders strongly opposed the policy, arguing that universities globally are not meant to be revenue-generating institutions. ASUU’s National President, Emmanuel Osodeke, criticized the government’s attempt to burden the universities and questioned the definition of IGR in the context of educational institutions.
ASUU’s stance found support from the National President of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Mohammed Ibrahim, who emphasized that education is a social service. He stated that any attack on education is essentially an attack on the nation’s development.
The newly registered Congress of Nigerian Universities’ Academics (CONUA) also rejected the policy, citing the existing funding challenges faced by universities. The implementation of the 40% IGR deduction, according to CONUA, would further destabilize the already struggling university system.
The cancellation of the 40% IGR deduction has been widely welcomed by stakeholders, providing relief for federal universities grappling with financial challenges. This decision aligns with the broader goal of improving the quality of education in Nigeria.
Source: Premium Times
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