The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has warned President Muhammadu Buhari against cutting down the health and education budgets in the proposed 2020 revised appropriation.
The union has also asked the government not to 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 livelihoods.
DAILY POST gathered that the federal government is proposing a slash of 50.76billion from the 111.78 billion budgeted for UBEC to bring it down to 61.02billion and a cut of 26.51billion from the 44.49billion allocated to Basic Health care to bring it down to 17.98 billion naira.
But, ASUU while reacting, said the proposed cut by the government shows the government totally lacks understanding of the precarious state of things in Nigeria’s health and education sectors.
ASUU Chairman, University of Ibadan chapter, Professor Ayo Akinwole, said it was now obvious that the government has not learned anything from the COVID-19 pandemic on the precarious state of facilities in Nigeria’s health and education sectors.
Akinwole in a statement made available to DAILY POST on Sunday, maintained that a serious and progressive government will not allocate funds for any rehabilitation of government buildings or purchase of buses but will face critical sectors like Health and Education which has evidently in the COVID-19 pandemic brought all political, economic, religious, among other activities to a halt.
On the palliative being distributed, Akinwole lashed out at the Buhari Government for stopping salaries of lecturers for refusing the quest of the government to break the laws thereby making over 30,000 lecturers and there over 50,000 dependants vulnerable at this time.
Akinwole stated that the distribution of the palliatives seem fraudulent as the reactions from Lagos and other states of the nation indicated that government officials are profiteering in palliative distribution.
He 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 lawlessness 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.
“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 counterproductive to the fight against the pandemic”.