By Segun O’Law
The Federal Government has advised federaluniversities to be prepared to swim on their own, or sink.
Speaking in Abuja on Thursday at afundraising dinner organized by the University of Jos, Mr. Anyim Pius Anyim,the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, called on the institutionsto generate funds independently from investors, associates and alumni.
Mr. Anyim, a former President of theSenate, also said that the government would inaugurate a committee to assessthe level of need of the institutions and make recommendations, apparently toback the decision that has already been taken to starve them of funds.
This decision to pass the burden offinancing to the universities is certain to lead to increases in tuition infederal universities, just as a similar decision to withdraw the subsidy onpetrol last January led to the exponential price increases that fuelled thatmonth’s mass rallies nationwide.
The pattern ofpassing vast financial burdens to impoverished citizens is happening at a timethat the executive and legislative arms of the government are continuouslyfinding ways to grant to themselves lavish budget provisions.
Only recently, itemerged that the nation’s Senators had bought new Toyota LandCruiser SportUtility Vehicles at a cost of over N16million each. Each of them already enjoysa fleet of luxury official cars. This year, federal legislators will receive anestimated N71 billion in jumbo allowances and packages they have allocated tothemselves.
Not to be outdone,the presidency has this year budgeted for itself, for food alone, about onebillion Naira.