The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has faulted a proposal by the Federal Government to slash ₦50.76 billion from the ₦111.78 billion budgeted for Universal Basic Education Commission.
The academic union stated that the same proposal being planned for the healthcare would be an ill wind that would further destroy the sector.
Cutting down of healthcare budget to ₦26.51 billion from the ₦44.49 billion allocated to it was an indication that the Federal Government had not learnt any good lesson from the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic.
ASUU stated this through the University of Ibadan branch Chairman, Professor Ayo Akinwole.
Prof. Ayo said a serious and progressive government will not allocate funds for any rehabilitation of government buildings or purchase of buses at the expense of critical sectors like Health and Education.
ASUU, therefore, admonished President Muhammadu Buhari against slashing the budget of Health and Education sectors in the proposed 2020 revised budget.
The union also noted that government should not defraud the nation by puddling up budgeted social intervention funds with donated funds meant for palliatives for the vulnerable to cope with COVID-19 which has negatively affected their livelihood.
The union stated that the proposed cut by the Buhari government shows the government is totally lacking in understanding of the shaky state of things in Nigeria’s Health and Educational Sector.
On the palliatives being distributed to help fight the effects of COVID-19, the Academic Union frowned at the government’s decision to stop salaries of lecturers for refusing the quest of the government to break the laws thereby making over 30,000 lecturers and over 50,000 dependants vulnerable at this time.
Mr. Akinwole stated that the distribution of the palliatives seems fraudulent as the reactions from Lagos and other states of the nation reveals that government officials are profiteering from palliative distribution.
The chairman advised that vulnerable people in slums, commercial drivers, Okada riders, food vendors, luggage porters among others must be targeted.
According to him, while the stoppage of salaries to lecturers is a sign of lawlessness and tyranny of the Buhari Government, members of the union will not be cowed in their resolve to fight for the revitalization of public funded education and the sanctity of the laws of the land.
He further then advised federal and State governments to include journalists in palliatives being distributed saying over fifty percent of journalists are not being paid salaries while many are being owed over a year salaries.
“I have not seen this kind of government. A top government official claimed he never knew our Health institution is this precarious and the government that has not allocated sufficient funds to that sector is further reducing it! They are also muddling up palliative being distributed.
We sense that lack of transparency is ending in fraud and profiteering from the deprivation of the downtrodden.
Most Nigerians are on the fringe and any mismanagement of palliative distribution will be counter productive to the fight against the pandemic”