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Thursday, February 29, 2024

ASUU urges FG to remove universities from 40% IGR remittance obligation

Academic Staff Union of Universities condemns directive, stating that universities are not revenue-generating agencies but educational institutions

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In a statement released after its National Executive Council meeting, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has called on the Federal Government to exempt universities from the obligation to remit 40% of their internally generated revenue (IGR). The meeting, held at Kaduna State University, deliberated on issues affecting the university system and the nation at large.

Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, the National President of ASUU, emphasized that universities are not revenue-generating agencies. He argued that the fees paid by students are essential for providing the necessary tools for a proper education, not as a source of revenue. The directive to deduct 40% of IGR from universities, according to Osodeke, would further impoverish and weaken the Nigerian university system.

The statement read, “NEC condemns the directive in its entirety because it would further impoverish and emasculate the Nigerian university system. NEC calls on the relevant institutions of state to remove universities from this category of government ministries, departments, and agencies regarded as revenue-generating centers because of their implications for affordability and accessibility of education in the country.”

During the meeting, ASUU expressed concern about the Accountant General’s office’s deliberate attempt to withhold promotion arrears since 2018, causing further financial strain on its members. NEC urged the Federal Government to release all withheld salaries related to the eight months’ salaries due to the strike action in 2022.

The statement also highlighted ongoing victimization and onslaught against ASUU members in various universities, including the Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Kogi State University, Anyigba, Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki, Lagos State University, Ojo, and others. NEC commended the resilience of the affected colleagues and called on authorities to respect their fundamental human rights.

ASUU condemned the National Universities Commission’s persistence in imposing the Core Curriculum Minimum Academic Standards on Nigerian universities despite rejection by university Senates and academic and professional associations. The union reaffirmed its commitment to challenging the imposition.

Furthermore, ASUU reiterated its position on the wrongful dissolution of the governing councils of universities without adhering to the laws establishing them. The union also criticized successive governments for failing to honor agreements, particularly the renegotiation of the 2009 FGN/ASUU Agreement.

The NEC meeting coincided with this year’s Heroes Day, dedicated to honoring ASUU members who contributed significantly to the union’s development and those who made sacrifices for a better education system in the country. The day included a special lecture and the awarding of scholarships to deserving students in public universities.

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