By Michael Oche
The leadership of the Senior Staff Union in College of Education, Nigeria (SSUCOEN), has asked the federal government to reverse with immediate effect the directive to the Colleges of Education to implement a 40% Automatic Deduction from Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
Our correspondent reports that the Accountant-General of the Federation sent a memo to all Federal Colleges of Education, titled “Implementation of 40% Automatic Deduction from Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of Partially Funded Federal Government Institutions.”
The memo stated that the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy (HMF&CME) has approved the implementation of a 40% auto deduction from the gross Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of all Partially Funded Federal Government Institutions.
However, a statement by Danladi Ali Msheliza, SSUCOEN President noted that Colleges of Education do not have anything called IGR, adding that what students pay as paltry sums are service charge for students ID card, hostel maintenance, games, etc.
“It is unbelievable and mind blogging to note that the federal government wants Colleges of Education who are barely struggling to survive, and whose overhead cannot even pay for diesel or electricity bills, not to talk of students hostels and other logistics, would be asked to remit 40% of what they collect as registration fee from students as Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) to the federal government coffers to fund political elites’ indulgences.
“This action, which can be likened to squeezing water out of stone and depositing it into an ocean, is, in our opinion, a deliberate effort by the government to systematically phase out Public Tertiary Educational Institutions in Nigeria just like they did to public Primary and Secondary Schools.
“President Bola Ahmed Tinubu is really having a ball at the expense of the rest of Nigerians. He has become so comfortable in his presidential villa that he now wants to deny the children of the masses access to quality Education.
“This is a cruel suffocation of federal Colleges of Education that are barely hanging on! It betrays not just a profound poverty of imagination but a studied design to snuff out the last evidence of life in our Colleges. Since children of the elite no longer attend public tertiary Institutions in Nigeria, it’s easy to see why the government wants to kill them by surreptitious actions.
“While our political elites and their families are living luxurious lives, with their children either schooling in private institutions or abroad, they want to totally enslave the children of the indigents by denying them access to Education.
“It’s a continuation of the conservative, right-wing, anti-people, neoliberal orthodoxy that is obviously the governing philosophy of the Tinubu administration. It’s probably also a pre-emptive move against legitimate demands for the funding of federal Colleges since the administration has said it has now saved trillions of naira from the removal of petroleum subsidies”, he added.