The Students’ Solidarity Group Against Fee Hike has expressed doubts over the sincerity of President Tinubu’s announcement of cancelling the 40 percent IGR remittance order issued to universities.
This decision, initially seen as a financial strain on the educational institutions, was met with widespread criticism and resistance from students, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), and the public at large.
In a statement signed on Saturday by the office of the secretary, Oyelumade Oluwakemi revealed that the announcement, which was initially received with skepticism, has now been confirmed by reputable members of ASUU, leading to a cautious sigh of relief among the academic community.
The student body has lauded the collective efforts that led to this backtrack, highlighting the power of unity in opposing policies perceived as detrimental to the educational sector.
Despite this seeming victory, the Students’ Solidarity Group has expressed reservations about the government’s true intentions.
The group cited previous instances where the government, after removing fuel subsidies under the pretext of reallocating funds to education and infrastructure, failed to follow through on its promises. Instead, there was a significant increase in educational fees, raising doubts about the fate of the supposed subsidy savings.
According to the statement, “We have every reason to doubt the sincerity of the Tinubu regime because the same government while wickedly removing subsidy promised that the money saved from the removal will be used to fund education and infrastructure adequately.
“This was issued by the Presidency and it even went ahead to tell Nigerians that billions have been saved in just 2 months, only for the same government to remove education subsidy; increase fees by over 300-500 percent across our schools. Unity schools were not spared from the dagger of this anti-poor regime.
“The promise to fund education was turned to defunding. What then are the subsidy savings used for? Our guess is as good as other Nigerians’. These monies were saved to buy SUVs and presidential yacht. ”
The Tinubu administration’s pattern of making grandiose promises followed by actions that contradict them has led to a trust deficit. The group speculates that the funds saved from subsidy removals may have been diverted to less critical expenditures, such as the procurement of luxury vehicles and a presidential yacht, rather than addressing the pressing needs of the educational sector.
Recall that in response to the removal of subsidies in education, the #FeesMustFall campaign was launched, demanding a halt to arbitrary fee increments in Nigerian universities.
As a result, the Presidency was compelled to respond, with the President issuing an order to halt the arbitrary fee hikes.
However, recent developments suggest that the order may have been nothing more than a deceptive move.
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