• Friday, June 14, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

UNN tops 2024 federal universities budget with ₦36.6bn

Federal Universities’ proposed budget 2024 (1)

The University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) in Enugu State in efforts to improve the conditions of learning in the institution, leads 14 other federal universities in the 2024 proposed budget with ₦36.6 billion meant to upgrade facilities.

Speaking on the proposed budget, Michael Ukonu, a senior lecturer at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka described the budget as a welcome development. Though he pointed out that he was not speaking as the institute’s spokesperson.

“The university is big and so are its lofty academic dreams. As a dispassionate observer and member of the university community, I know that new programmes, departments and research centres have been launched, at least 10 in the past six months.

Massive infrastructure is ongoing. At least five road networks and seven departmental buildings have been completed in the past two years,” he said.

In addition, Ukonu said; “There is evidence of admirable frugality within the lowest federal allocations in a decade. Yet, there is a rising tide of student population and new infrastructure and maintenance costs.”

According to recent ranking by StatiSense, the University of Calabar is placed second ₦29.5 billion proposed budget, while Ahmadu Bello University is third with ₦29.2 billion.

Others are Nnamdi Azikiwe University ₦26.3 billion, the University of Benin (UNIBEN) has ₦24.2 billion as its budget for coming academic year, the University of Ibadan (UI) with ₦23.4 billion budget is sixth.

The University of Maiduguri has ₦22.3billion, the University of Port Harcourt has ₦19.6 billion and the University of Lagos (UNILAG) has ₦19.4 billion as its budget.

The Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) with ₦17.1billion is tenth on the list, Bayero University, Kano follows with ₦17billion, the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO) has ₦16.8billion, the University of Jos has ₦16.2 billion and the University of Uyo ₦15.6 billion, while the National Open University is at the bottom of the ladder with ₦14.6 billion.

Folasade Ogunsola, the vice-chancellor at the University of Lagos had earlier reaffirmed the university’s preparedness to building its reputation both global and local.

To this end said; “We continue to forge ahead in research and this year various faculty have attracted a total research grants worth over N11, 511, 906, 630.20.

Federal Universities' proposed budget for 2024

We were determined to push forward to ensure that the university could grow and deliver on its mandate of teaching, research and service through the future-ready agenda that is encapsulated by the four pillars of growth; growing the finance, infrastructure, reputation and manpower (FIRM).”

Meanwhile, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), has condemned the “low” budget figure assigned to the country’s education sector in the 2024 budget proposal – a development that may be setting the scene for another confrontation between the organisation and the government in 2024.

Emmanuel Osodeke, ASUU president, bemoaned the low budget recently in a media chat, noting that the union may embark on strikes if all contending issues between the lecturers and federal government are not resolved.

The ASUU, which has been clashing with the government over its members’ working conditions, has been using strike action since 1988, with some protests lasting months.

The tussle between university lecturers and the government are often related to the funding of universities, conditions of service and the non-implementation of agreements.