The Chairman of the Federal Government negotiating team for the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Dr. Wale Babalakin, has denied that the team proposed tuition of between N350,000 and N500,000 to be paid per annum by undergraduates.
Babalakin said this when he spoke with newsmen on Saturday in Lagos, while also appealing to ASUU to call off its strike.
He said: “We do not know from where ASUU got the figures that it has been peddling around the country.
“Aside from the fact that our committee has no power to impose fees on students, we are at a loss regarding the source of the said figures.”
Babalakin said it had become important to react to the inaccurate narratives being peddled by the lecturers, including the one claiming that there was a 26 per cent budgetary recommendation to the education sector by the UNESCO.
He said it was also untrue that he was pursuing a personal agenda since he has a plan to establish a private university.
He said: “All I have expressed are the collective views of the Federal Government Negotiating Team.
“Going by the figures provided by ASUU, Nigeria requires over N2 trillion per annum to fund university education.
“This figure exceeds the total amount available for all capital projects in Nigeria, including health, infrastructure, security and others.
“No doubt, if the money were available for university education as ASUU has insisted it is, the government will have no difficulty in spending it on university education.
“However, as it is, government cannot ignore all other areas of expenditure that require funding.”