President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has made a notable shift in his administration’s policies by announcing the cancellation of the automatic deduction of 40% from federal universities’ Internally Generated Revenue (IGR). During his address at the University of Ibadan’s 75th Founder’s Day ceremony on Friday, November 17, Minister of Education Tahir Mamman conveyed the decision, following widespread disapproval of previous plans by the Ministry of Finance to implement the deduction.
The Ministry of Finance had, in October, informed academic institutions nationwide about its intention to automatically deduct 40% from their IGR. This move faced strong opposition, particularly from the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and other stakeholders, who criticised it as ill-advised and retrogressive.
In response, ASUU, through its national president, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, stated that universities should not be considered revenue-generating entities for the government. The union also stated that students’ obligatory fees were intended to furnish essential tools for their proper education and asserted that the proposed policy would impoverish the university system.
The Committee of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities added its voice to the protest by writing a letter to the federal government, urging a reconsideration of the plan. The committee argued that it was unreasonable for the government to demand a 40% deduction from universities’ IGR while simultaneously denying them autonomy.