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2023 Budget: FG earmarks N470bn for ASUU

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Amidst Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU)’s strike, the federal government has earmarked N470 billion for revitalisation and salary enhancement in tertiary institutions in the 2023 budget proposal.

Among other issues, funding for the revitalisation of public universities is among the demands of the union, which has been on strike since February.

While presenting the N20.51 trillion 2023 budget estimate to the joint session of the National Assembly on Friday, President Muhammadu Buhari renewed his appealed to university lecturers to show a better appreciation of the country’s current situation and return to the classroom.

Daily trust reports that the N20.51trn estimate is N750 billion higher than the N19.76trn projected in the approved 2023 to 2025 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP), partly to accommodate ASUU’s demands.

The striking university lecturers, who are demanding N1.2trn, had earlier rejected a proposal of N150bn by the federal government for the first quarter of 2023.

Buhari, in his last budget speech, said his administration remained committed to the implementation of agreements reached with staff unions within available resources.

He, however, added that the federal government would not sign any agreement it would not be able to implement.

He said government alone could not provide the resources required for funding tertiary education, and urged universities to find other means of funding instead of solely relying on government’s budget.

“In most countries, the cost of education is jointly shared between the government and the people, especially at the tertiary level. It is imperative, therefore, that we introduce a more sustainable model of funding tertiary education,” he said.

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