The National Universities Commission (NUC), the regulatory agency for Nigerian universities, has set aside N5,769,000 to purchase books in 2022, and a whopping N22,908,950 for meals and N25,570,000 for welfare packages.
The meals and the welfare packages add up to N48,578,950.
The NUC which is supposed to be the repository for research and knowledge in the tertiary education sector will also spend N17,540,000 on honorarium and sitting allowances – three times more than the amount set aside for books.
The sums are obtained from the breakdown of the NUC budget for 2022, which was obtained by SaharaReporters, and which was part of the 2022 Appropriation Bill presented by President Muhammadu Buhari before the National Assembly.
The budget items read, “Books; N5,769,000; Refreshment and Meals; N22,908,950; 22021002 Honorarium and Sitting Allowance N17,540,000; 22021007 Welfare Packages – N25,570,000.”
Despite failing to ensure Nigerian university breaks into the top 500 institutions and amid negligence over the proliferation of “mushroom” universities nationwide, the NUC has had a history of meagre budgets for books, research and development.
In 2020 also, the NUC set aside over N53,000,000 to take care of meals and its welfare packages while the purchase of books took N16,769,000.
The commission also penned down N22,908,950 on refreshments and meals and N30,570,000 on welfare packages.
The two items summed up to N53,478,950.
The NUC headed by an Executive Secretary oversees the regulation and accreditation of a total of 174 Nigerian universities – 43 federal universities, 52 state universities and 79 private universities.
“Books – N16,769,000, newspapers – N3,079,000, printing of non-security documents – N18,400,000, uniforms and other clothing – N1,300,000, maintenance of office furniture – N5,537,885, maintenance of plants and generators – N9,739,246.
“Refreshments and meals – N22,908,950, honorarium and sitting allowance – N17,540,000, welfare packages – N30,570,000,” the breakdown of the NUC budget for 2020 had read.