The Senate on Wednesday mandated its committee on Tertiary Education and Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) to investigate the re-occurring shortfall in allocation for personnel cost in Tertiary Institutions in Nigeria.
The upper chamber of the National Assembly also urged the ministries of Budget, Finance and Education to take steps to correct the anomalies in the subsequent Appropriation Bills.
The development followed a motion by Senator Tijjani Yaha Kaura (Zamfara North). According to the Senator the provision for Personnel Cost for Federal Government owned tertiary institution in the 2017 Appropriation Bill is same with the 2016 budgetary allocation in terms of shortfall. “The deliberate reduction of budgetary allocation for personnel in all federal tertiary institutions is dampening the moral of administrators, academic and non-academic staff nationwide and threatening the fragile industrial peace in our institutions campuses” Kaura said.
Kaura also expressed worry that this unhealthy practice has continued to force administrators in tertiary institution to pay half salaries with Internally Generated Revenue which is often not enough. “That the reduction in the allocation for personnel cost has led to situation where staff union deductions, PAYE deduction and National Housing Fund deduction are usually paid in arrears. The situation affects the ability of the institutions to implement promotions which are long overdue” he said.
The Senator also informed the Senate that industrial action is looming across the tertiary institution due to the development and called for necessary action to address the issue.
In his reaction, the Senate President Bukola Saraki commended the Senator Kaura for raising the issue. He called on the committee to urgently investigate the matter and report back in 6 weeks.