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ASUU knocks Nigerian govt for cuts in education, health budgets, handling of COVID-19 intervention funds

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Sunday condemned the cuts in the budgets for health and the education sectors in the revised 2020 national budget.

ASUU also frowned at alleged poor handling of the social intervention funds for the vulnerable in the wake of the spread of COVID-19.

The union, which also frowned at the handling of the COVID-19 special intervention fund for the most vulnerable in the society, said that the proposed cut on the budget by the President Muhammadu Buhari administration gives it out as lacking understanding of the precarious state of things in the country’s health and education sectors.

ASUU stated this in a statement signed by the chairman of its University of Ibadan branch, Prof. Ayo Akinwole, in Ibadan.

According to the union, the Nigerian government has failed to learn from the challenges of COVID-19.

The Federal Government, in the proposed cut on the budget, reduced the N111.78bn UBEC budget to N61.02bn and removed N26.51bn from the N44.49bn allocated to basic health care.

ASUU further noted that a progressive government was expected to pay more attention to health and education instead of allocating funds for mundane things, accusing the Buhari administration of rendering over 30,000 lecturers and their dependants vulnerable by stopping lecturers’ salaries.

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The statement read: “The distribution of the palliatives seems fraudulent as reactions from Lagos and other states of the nation indicate that government officials are profiting from the distribution.

“The union will not be cowed in its 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 was 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. Most Nigerians are on the fringe and any mismanagement of palliative distribution will be counter-productive to the fight against the pandemic.”

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