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Sunday, December 10, 2023

‘Govt. Was Paying Me When I Was A Student’ – ASUU President Tasks FG To Increase Education Budget

Emmanuel Osodeke, National President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), has called on the Federal Government (FG) to return Nigeria’s education sector back to the era of the 1960s and 1970s.

When he was a student, the government at the time was paying him for choosing to study.

He posited that the government should increase the budget for education so the children of the poor can have access to education too.

The ASUU chair berated the hike in fees at various public universities, querying how the system expects parents who earn N30,000 as minimum wage to pay school fees of N300,000.

While speaking on Channels Television’s Sunday Politics, Osodeke expressed concerns about how parents are expected to pay such heavy fees in the current harsh economic environment saying, if nothing is done about the issue, about 40 to 50 per cent of university students would be out of school in the near future.

The Professor explained that when such happens, these students would become willing tools in the hands of those who want to make the “country ungovernable.”

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“Today, universities are arbitrarily increasing tuition fees.

“Is that correct in an environment today where the minimum wage is N30,000 per month and where they have to pay rent and pay heavily for transportation? And you are enforcing this thing on the students?

“As a result of this – I can assure you that you can check if nothing is done about this heavy fee being introduced all over the country today – in the next two or three years, more than 40 to 50 per cent of these students who are in school would drop out.

“That is what we are saying: create the environment we had in the ’60s and ’70s.

“When I was a student, the government was paying me for being a student. Let’s have an environment where the children of the poor can have access to education, not closing them. If you say school fees of N300,000, how can the children of somebody who earns N50,000 a month be able to pay such fee?” he queried

Osodeke therefore called on the government to increase its educational budget “to at least 15 per cent from last year’s 3.8 per cent.”

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