THE President, Academic Staff Union of University, Prof Emmanuel Osodeke, has accused the Federal Government of not giving priority to tertiary education.
According to him, the government had addressed the issue of fuel subsidy with a budget of N4trillion, whereas, it ignored issues concerning university education.
Speaking during a programme on Channels Television on Wednesday, Osodeke asked the government to take N200bn from the N4trillion budgeted for subsidy to address the challenges of its members, thereby putting an end to the industrial action embarked upon by the union.
Osodeke said, “It is always funny that the government cannot raise N200bn to revamp all Nigeria’s universities annually, to world standards. The same government can raise N4trillion for fuel subsidy.
“You can raise a budget to make N4trillion 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.
“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.”