OYO, Nigeria – In continued policy somersaults that have come to characterise his administration, President Bola Tinubu has announced the cancellation of the automatic deduction of 40 per cent from federal universities’ Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
The Minister of Education, Tahir Mamman, conveyed the president’s decision during his speech at the 75th Founder’s Day ceremony of the University of Ibadan (UI) on Friday, November 17.
In October, the Ministry of Finance notified academic institutions nationwide of its plan to automatically deduct 40 per cent from their IGR.
The move was widely condemned, especially by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), and other stakeholders, who said it was ill-advised and retrogressive.
ASUU had in a statement signed by its national president, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, explained that universities were not revenue-generating agencies for government.
It also reminded the government that the obligatory fees paid by students were to provide the necessary tools for them to be properly educated.
Osodeke noted that the policy will impoverish the university system.
Also, the Committee of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities had written a protest letter to the Federal Government, demanding that the government rescind the plan, adding that the government could not be demanding 40 per cent of varsities IGR when it had refused to grant them autonomy.
In a dramatic volte-face on Friday, Tinubu conceded that the policy implementation was ill-timed.
He said: “The 40 per cent IGR automatic deduction policy stands cancelled. This is not the best time for such a policy since our universities are struggling.”