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TSA, an aberration to intellectual, industrial productivity, says Makinde




Emeritus President/Vice Chancellor, Babcock University, Ogun State, Prof. James Kayode Makinde, has described the Treasury Single Account (TSA) policy as an incongruous aberration, which negates the core obligations of university education in the country.

Makinde in a recent chat with The Guardian stated that the policy, though formulated out of desperation by the Federal Government to regulate the financial activities of its agencies and parastatals, was “a vicious bureaucratic spiral that saps the very spontaneous energy of innovation out of an intellectual entity as a university.”

Citing the recent cries by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on the woes of operating TSA to their operations, he charged government to be receptive of constructive suggestions of academics’ alternatives so as to achieve the same goals for public good, without compromise, adding that ASUU had in the past initiated many positive dynamics in administration against dysfunctional government policies and direct contradictions.

He said, “TSA is an act of desperation in administration, an incongruous aberration of operational centralisation made inevitable for a frustrated new presidency, in a dysfunctional political system, warped by years of unbridled corruption, lack of transparency and accountability, as well as total impunity of past leaders.

Makinde continued, “That the TSA is an aberration to intellectual and industrial productivity is not in dispute. Notwithstanding, productivity in the nation even within the university system is already below global best practices and minimums. The question is no longer about functional productivity but also ethical accountability and national values, which have long been depreciated and devalued worse than the naira over time.

“But considering the massive looting and insensitive economic sabotage carried out by past regimes and the dire constraints in which the nation currently finds itself, the union needs to go beyond mere wishes and requests, to present irrefutable empirical evidence to government, of the potential damage of the TSA initiative negating the very positive change sought by government in its efforts to rebuild our broken nation.”

He maintained that the TSA was not the ideal answer to academic/industrial creativity and productivity, urging academics to bring their ingenuity to bear and make government reason with them.

“Academics are paid to think and innovate alternative solutions for bureaucrats to implement. I’m sure government is anxiously waiting and keenly listening to whispers from the ivory towers,” he said.

It would be recalled that the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) recently challenged the Federal Government to exempt ivory towers from the TSA policy, warning that the scheme was already grounding academic activities in public institutions.

The group through its Coordinator, Lagos Zone, Dr. Adesola Nasir, said that the policy was not only slowing down operational pace at the universities, but also capable of eroding institutional autonomy.

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