The President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Prof Emmanuel Osodeke, has said the Federal Government cannot stop funding universities in the country as it is constitutional.
Osodeke stated it’s constitutional for the FG to fund universities in reaction to a statement credited to Minister of Education Prof. Tahir Mamman, that the FG will grant full autonomy to universities to explore new ways of funding its activities.
He made this known in an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Thursday.
His words: “There is no way the Federal Government of Nigeria would say they would not fund public universities because it is there in the law. It is there in the Constitution; look at Section 18 of the Constitution; it says ‘university, primary, and secondary are free.
“The only problem is that it is not judicable; that’s the only problem, so I said, I don’t think this government, from what we have seen, is going to say we are going to hands off from university.
“But the autonomy is here, ignited in year 2003 if we follow that law and allow it to run without interference from the bureaucrats, the university system would be fine.”
He further added that if Nigeria commits greater allocations to its educational budget like other countries in West Africa and Europe, there will be no issues with funding.
He said, “If you check the ratio of Nigeria’s education budget to our GDP, it’s one of the lowest in the world.