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ASUU asks Tinubu for 15% budgetary allocation to education

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has appealed to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to allocate a minimum of 15 per cent of the national budget to the education sector.

ASUU argued that such an allocation would not only foster substantial growth in the sector but also enable it to be competitive and effectively address global challenges.

The body advised President Bola Tinubu to prioritise education, pointing to other African countries and their budgetary allocations as examples.

Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, the President of ASUU, noted that Nigeria’s current allocation of 4.3 per cent to the education sector is deemed unacceptable when compared to Ghana, Kenya, and South Africa, which earmark 15 per cent of their budgets for education.

He emphasised, “During the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo era in the Southwest, more than 30 pe cent of their budgets were allocated to education. However, successive governments have reduced funding to the sector. The new government should recognise education as a critical factor in a nation’s success.”

The union also urged the new administration to increase the education tax levied on private companies, suggesting a range of 5 per cent to 10 per cent of their profits, and to provide the necessary funds for rebuilding the sector.

Osodeke proposed utilising proceeds from stamp duty charges to finance the education sector. He highlighted the existence of companies and government agencies, such as the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which possess significant financial resources.

Osodeke further remarked, “During the tenure of Sanusi Lamido Sanusi as CBN Governor, a structure known as the social responsibility fund was established in every federal university in this country. However, since his departure, no such initiatives have been undertaken, despite the existence of available funds.”

He continued, “Last year alone, we paid over N500 billion in tuition fees to other countries, while neglecting our own educational institutions. Our stance is that the government should increase funding for the sector. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) recommends allocating 20 per cent, yet we are only allocating 4.3 per cent. Tinubu should raise this figure to between 12 per cent and 15 per cent, which would effectively address the challenges faced by the sector.”

Osodeke, therefore, highlighted the need to curb the proliferation of universities due to a shortage of lecturers and inadequate resources to sustain these institutions.

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