The Academic Staff Union of Universities and the Committee of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities have described the plan by the Federal Government to automatically deduct 40 per cent from the Internally Generated Revenue of universities in the country as an attack on the university system.
The FG, in a letter dated October 17, 2023, and titled ‘Implementation of 40% automatic deduction from internally generated revenue of partially-funded Federal Government institutions,’ said it would begin the deduction with effect from November 2023.
The letter signed by the Accountant-General of the Federation, Mrs Oluwatoyin Madein, Director of Revenue and Investment, Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, Felix Ore-ofe Ogundairo, also said the auto-deduction policy of gross IGR was in line with the Finance Circular with reference number FMFBNP/OTHERS/IGR/CRF/12/2021 dated December 20, 2021.
However, the National President, ASUU, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, insisted that FG’s decision was disheartening, saying universities were not generating any revenue from the user chargers/service fees they gave students.
He argued that it was surprising that the government still wanted to collect from the subsidised charges on ID cards, hostel accommodation, lab coats, etc, of students.
“This is what we saw when we were fighting that the government should fund universities and Nigerians think ASUU is the problem.
“Universities are not revenue-generating agencies, so the 40 per cent of the subsidised money students pay for a hostel, medicals, ID cards, lab coat, chemicals in the laboratory should still be shared with the government?
“If this happens, the financial challenges of the universities will get worse because the university is not a profit-making institution, it is not a revenue-generating entity. It is a service-providing entity.”
He also said the committee of VCs would consult with the Ministry of Education, accountant general and others.