The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has chided the Federal Government for appropriating what it described as a "paltry seven per cent to the education sector" in the 2018 budget.
The union said tertiary institutions in Nigeria had never been so under-funded as currently being experienced.ASUU wondered why the President Muhammadu Buhari government was preparing the country for greater doom by starving its higher institutions of funds.
Chairman of ASUU, University of Ibadan (UI) chapter, Dr. Deji Omole, who stated this in an interview, noted that Federal Government's failure to allocate enough funds for its public tertiary education system was already causing crisis between universities administration and students in the country.
"It will be difficult to have a citizen that will love the country in the future if the trend of abandoning the poor while taking care of the rich is not reversed. While each senator collects N13.5m as running cost per month, the same Senate appropriated N66m for capital projects for the University of Ibadan with a students' population of about 30,000.
"This can only happen in Nigeria where the ruling class lacks vision. The same government refuses to fund the revitalisation of public universities. Now, most children of the masses are denied access because universities cannot admit beyond what their dilapidated infrastructure can take.
"Yet, their parents cannot afford private universities. The Federal Government is owing about N800 billion revitalisation funds to public universities as contained in its agreements with ASUU."
Omole, who noted that ASUU would oppose any plan to force ordinary Nigerian students out of school by imposing high fees, said the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has performed poorly in the education sector.
He added that the United States of America funds its public universities because the USA was interested in bridging the gap between the rich and the poor knows the negative implication of having a growing pool of illiterates as we have in Nigeria.
He, however, noted that the Buhari government has paid lip service to public education but preferred to pacify militants and terrorists. Omole noted that while the masses groan in hardship, the political class has increased in size and store enough money taken from the collective patrimony in preparation for the 2019 general elections.