Apparently worried about the current backlash from universities’ administrators and analysts on the announced fiscal measure to deduct 40% from internally generated revenue (IGR) of the tertiary institutions, President Bola Tinubu on Friday shelved the implementation of the directive.
Specifically, the President attributed the decision to halt the implementation to its inappropriate timing given the economy challenges the country is currently facing.
Speaking at the University of Ibadan’s (UI) 75th Founder’s Day ceremony on Friday, the President, who was represented by the Minister of Education, Tahir Mamman, said that “the 40 per cent IGR automatic deduction policy stands cancelled. This is not the best time for such policy since our universities are struggling.”
It would be recalled that a letter dated October 17, 2023 from the Revenue and Investment Department of the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation in the Federal Ministry of Finance had informed the universities’ authorities that effective from this month (November), the government planned to automatically deduct 40% of the IGR deposited in universities’’ accounts through the Treasury Single Accounts (TSA).
The memo reads inter alia: “It is important to emphasize that this policy of 40 per cent auto deduction of gross IGR is in line with the Finance Circular Reference Number FMFBNP/OTHERS/IGR/CRF/12/2021/ dated 20th December 2021, limiting the budgetary agencies or parastatals to not more than 50 per cent of their gross IGR and the remittance of 100 per cent of the remaining 50 per cent to the sub-recurrent account.
“While all statutory revenue lines like Tender fees, contractors’ registration fees, disposal of fixed assets, rent on quarters, etc, shall be remitted 100 per cent to sub-recurrent accounts”, it added.
The Academic Staff Union of Nigerian Universities’ (ASUU’s) leadership had vehemently opposed the fiscal regime in view of the negative implications for adequate funds to run the institutions.
To press home its demand for the reversal of the directive, the ASUU joined the labour unions in the country on Tuesday for a nationwide industrial action over the attack on the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Joe Ajaero, in Owerri, Imo State, na