For the nation’s education sector to be competitive and meet global challenges, Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), yesterday, said the incoming administration must vote a minimum 15 per cent budgetary allocation for the sector for robust development.
It advised President Bola Tinubu’s government to see education as a public good in deference to the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
Citing other African nations and their budgetary allocations, ASUU President, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, in an interview with The Guardian, observed that Nigeria’s 4.3 per cent budget for the sector was unacceptable when compared to Ghana, Kenya and South Africa earmarked 15 per cent.
He said: “In the Southwest, during the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo era, they gave more than 30 per cent of their budgets to education, but successive governments reduced their allocations to the sector. The new government should see education as a key to the success of any country.”
The union equally advised the incoming administration to increase education tax by private companies in the region of five and 10 per cent of their profits, as well as provide the needed funds to rebuild the sector.
Osodeke suggested the usage of proceeds from stamp duty charges to fund the sector.
According to ASUU, there are some companies and agencies of government like the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) that have so much money.
Osodeke continued: “During the era of Sanusi Lamido Sanusi as CBN Governor, he put one structure in every federal university in this country, which was called social responsibility fund. But since he left, there has not been anything of such, yet the money is somewhere.
“Last year, within six months, we paid over N500 billion to other countries as tuition, still we have not taken care of our own.
“What we are saying is that government should increase funding of the sector. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) said 20 per cent should be allocated, but we are only allocating 4.3 per cent. Tinubu should increase that to between 12 and 15 per cent, and all the challenges confronting the sector would be resolved.
He urged an end to the proliferation of universities, citing an inadequate number of lecturers and a lack of resources to maintain the institutions.