The President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Emmanuel Osodeke, has criticized the government for not prioritizing the education sector in its affairs.
Osodeke said the government is able to raise N4 trillion to address fuel subsidy in the nation but is unable to raise N200 billion to revamp Nigerian varsities to world standards.
He said this while speaking during the Journalists, where he noted that the government shelled more than N200 billion to fund the homegrown school feeding program but failed to address the demands of striking university lecturers.
He said, “It is always funny that the government cannot raise N200 billion to revamp all Nigeria’s universities annually, to world standards. The same government can raise N4 trillion for fuel subsidies.
“You can raise a budget to make N4 trillion for subsidy in a year, but you cannot raise N200bn to fund your education where you don’t have the infrastructure. You can spend N228bn to feed children in primary or secondary schools but you cannot raise this fund for your university; it is an issue of priority. That is the problem”.
Osodeke said the government should take N200 billion out of the N4 trillion earmarked for fuel subsidy to address the needs of the Union and Nigerian varsities in general.
“If you remove N200bn from N4trillion to fund your universities, you still have N3.8trillion for fuel subsidy.
“We don’t believe there is a fuel subsidy. There is no country where you have the crude intelligentsia. You have been importing fuel for the past 20 years; something is ongoing. No country in the world will do that. In the 60s, we built four refineries, and between 1999 and now, we cannot build one or service the ones we had,” he said.