April 12, 2020

ASUU faults FG’s proposed slash of education, health budget

ASUU faults FG’s proposed slash of education, health budget

By Ola Ajayi, Ibadan

ACADEMIC Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has faulted a proposal by the Federal Government to slash 50.76billion from the 111.78billion budgeted for Universal Basic Education Commission.

The academic union also stated that the same proposal being planned for the healthcare would be an Ill wind that would further destroy the sector.

Slashing of healthcare budget to 26.51billion from the 44.49billion allocated to it was an indication that the FG 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.

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To him, 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, warned President Muhammadu Buhari against cutting down 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 muddling 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.

ASUU stated that the proposed cut by the Buhari government shows the government as totally lacking in understanding of the precarious state of things in Nigeria’s Health and Education Sectors.

On the palliatives being distributed to cushion the effects of COVID-19, ASUU frowned at 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.

Akinwole stated that the distribution of the palliatives seems fraudulent as the reactions from Lagos and other states of the nation indicated that government officials are profiteering from palliative distribution.

The ASUU boss advised that vulnerable people in slums, commercial drivers, Okada riders, food vendors, luggage porters among others must be targeted.

According to Akinwole, while the stoppage of salaries to lecturers is a sign of lawlesness and tyranny of the Buhari Government, members of the union will not be cowed in their resolve to fight for the revitalisation of public funded education and the sanctity of the laws of the land.

He 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”

Vanguard Nigeria News