The proposal to remove 40% of tertiary schools’ Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) has been rejected by the Senior Staff Union in College of Education, Nigeria (SSUCOEN).
According to the organisation, if the Federal Government proceeds with implementing the policy, it will eventually have an impact on current and prospective students attending institutes of education and shift the responsibility onto parents.
In a statement released in Abuja under the heading “Government Directives To Federal Colleges of Education to Remit 40% of their IGR; Can the Children of the Poor Nigerians Attend Tertiary Education in Nigeria,” SSUCOEN President Danladi Msheliza made this claim.
“The 40 percent auto-deduction of gross IGR policy is in accordance with the finance circular dated December 20, 2021, with reference number FMFBNP/OTHERS/IGR/CRF/12/2021.
“The circular restricts the federal government’s annual budgetary expenditure from its partially funded IGR.”However, the policy has been rejected by the unions in the country’s tertiary institutions, with several of them threatening to go on strike.
The statement said; “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 said that the introduction of a 40% automatic deduction from the gross IGR of all federal government entities that receive partial funding has been approved by the Honourable Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy (HMF&CME).
The memo further stated that “All statutory revenue lines like tender fees, contractor’s registration fees, disposal of fixed assets, rent on quarters, etc shall be remitted 100% to the sub-recurrent account.
“The union wishes to state that this makes absolutely no sense at all because education should not be “partially funded” rather, is supposed to be fully funded by the federal government, which established them.
“In spite of progressively vanishing support from the federal government that set them up, Colleges have managed to survive and live up to the demands of their mandate of training teachers for this country, by devising several means, including denying staff and students of most of their entitlements to survive and operating under excruciating teaching and learning environment.
“Tertiary education is now rightly not for the poor. When the government is supposed to give life support to our Colleges, they prefer to milk and draw the last blood of life, out of us.
“All the Adjustments in the revenue will now pass unto the parents because students have to be charged the 40% to each subhead as IGR to the government. Otherwise, no College of education in Nigeria can survive.
“For the record, Colleges of Education do not have anything called IGR. What students pay (as paltry sums) are service charges for student ID cards, hostel maintenance, games, etc.
“It is unbelievable and mind blogging to note that the federal government wants Colleges of Education that are barely struggling to survive, and whose overhead cannot even pay for diesel or electricity bills, not to talk of student 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.”
The union urged the federal government to reverse the policy of facing industrial unrest in the nation’s colleges of education.“Government needs to, therefore, reverse with immediate effects, this anti-people policy and, allow the children of the poor to ‘breathe’ and go to school like the children of the elites.
“If this is not done, Colleges of Education can no longer train teachers for Nigerian schools. Additionally, the union may have no option than to down tools and further mobilise students across all Colleges of Education in Nigeria to go to the streets and react to this anti masses policies.”