Nigeria spending bulk of education budget on 10,500 university profs – Education Minister

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The Minister of State for Education, Emeka Nwajiuba says a sizable cut of the nation’s annual budget on education was being spent on 10,500 professors in Nigeria’s public universities.

He stated this Wednesday while faulting the Academic Staff Union Universities (ASUU) over its refusal to call off its six-month strike.

Nwajiuba said it was unconscionable for ASUU to be demanding more money, saying no sector was getting adequate funding.

According to him, ASUU’s incessant resort to strike was driving public university students abroad and to private universities.

The Federal Government had directed schools to resume on Monday next week as the nation gradually overcomes the COVID-19 but the ASUU President, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi said its members would not obey the directive.

“Actually, there have been a lot of people asking me as minister what I think is the real intention of ASUU. If you look at it critically, what ASUU is achieving by this (strike) is driving students to private universities and out of the country.

“There is nothing that is now an issue. Even if you say universities are not well run, it is ASUU members that run them. If you say there is no enough money given to education, there is no enough money given to anything in Nigeria.

“The bulk of the money that is in education is paid to these professors. There are 71,000 lecturers in Nigeria alone, with 10,500 of them as professors. There are some countries that don’t have up to 2000 (professors),” Nwajiuba told The Punch.

He added, “So, it is not enough to simply say we should bring more money; from where? The 2020 budget, underperformed as low as 62 per cent. We didn’t even collect revenue, there were no companies functioning to pay taxes.”

He enjoined the lecturers and other Nigerians to cooperate with the government to boost the nation’s economy.

The Herald can report that the ongoing indefinite ASUU strike commenced on March 23, as the union accused the Federal Government of non-implementation of 2009 agreements.

The union also opposed the adoption of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) by the Federal Government for all its workers.

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