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Friday, June 21, 2024
HomeNews40 per cent IGR policy: FG bows to pressure, suspends action

40 per cent IGR policy: FG bows to pressure, suspends action

The Federal Government has yielded to pressure and halted the automatic deduction of 40% from the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of tertiary institutions. President Bola Ahmed Tinubu announced the reversal during the University of Ibadan’s 75th Founder’s Day ceremony, stating that the policy was ill-timed given the current struggles of universities. The decision to deduct 40% had been leaked through a memo from the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, citing the Finance Act of 2020.

President Tinubu had previously signed a bill establishing a Students Loan Fund (SLF) for interest-free loans, allocating N10 billion in the 2023 supplemental budget. Some critics speculated a connection between the student loan and a potential increase in institution fees. In response, both the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) issued statements opposing the 40% deduction, urging the government to reconsider.

ASUU condemned the directive, emphasizing that universities are not revenue-generating agencies, while COEASU warned of consequences for parents if the policy was implemented, considering it a strike against teacher education. The Committee of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities also protested, arguing that universities, operating without surpluses, rely on student fees and should be exempt from the deduction.

In reaction to the development, ASUU called on its members nationwide to prepare for an “indefinite strike,” citing the government’s failure to honor agreements. Dr. Michael Ogbemudia, a lecturer at Chrisland University, criticized the policy as retrogressive, anti-education, and unwarranted, while media and communication scholar Nduka Odo warned of the risks of making education profit-oriented, urging the government to invest heavily in education if it seeks to generate profit from universities.

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