Femi Falana, senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), says the federal government cannot afford to ignore the funding of higher education while spending trillions of naira on other projects.
Falana said this in a statement reacting to the current strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
ASUU has been on strike since March to protest the no-implementation of its demands some of which relate to funding.
The government and the lecturers’ union have had several meetings but are yet to reach a compromise. On Monday, Buhari said he hoped ASUU will “sympathise with the people on the prolonged strike”.
“Truly, enough is enough for keeping students at home. Don’t hurt the next generation for goodness sake,” he said.
Falana, in his statement, said the “claim of the Federal Government that it lacks the financial resources to fund university education has been taken with a pinch of salt by the Nigerian people”.
“Having regard to the way and manner huge public fund has been expended on other projects it does appear that the Federal Government has not prioritised higher education,” he said.
“For instance, the electricity sector and the counter insurgency operations in two regions in the country have consumed not less than N6 trillion without any tangible result. The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) claims that N5.4 trillion is owed by a section of the comparador bourgeoisie whose toxic debts were bought with public fund.
“Even though N443 billion was spent on the importation of fuel from January to June 2022 the National Assembly has approved N4 trillion for the same product from July to December 2022 due to the comatose status of the nation’s refineries.
“The Federal Government has also made available N100 billion for revamping the textile industry; N850 billion for rice production; N250 billion for autogas vehicle conversion and N228 for school feeding programme. Apart from its annual budget of N40 billion the Independent National Electoral Commission has received N100 billion as the first tranche of the 2022 budget to conduct the 2023 general elections.
“A government that can afford to spend trillions of Naira on the aforesaid projects cannot afford to ignore the funding of higher education. Therefore, the federal government should adopt concrete measures to end the ASUU strike without any further delay.”
Source: Top Stories
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