The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has dismissed the presidency’s claims that the Nigerian government runs a free-tuition university education.
According to the student body, such a claim is deceptive and misleading.
In a statement made available to reporters by its Public Relations Officer (PRO), Mr Giwa Temitope, on Wednesday, NANS said President Tinubu’s claim is a dubious attempt to conceal the accurate picture and the extent of the crises in tertiary institutions.
Part of the statement read:
“The argument made by the President’s Special Adviser on Special Duties, Communications and Strategy, Mr Dele Alake, on his behalf, is most embarrassing.
The adequate funding of education at all levels is the responsibility of the government, and it must remain so.
“So, for no reason should government shift such responsibility to students or their poor parents.
“That is why we’re now demanding the immediate and unconditional reversal of fees increment by universities that have done so.
“If federal universities are tuition-free, what about the sundry payment students are being charged?
“As a matter of fact, if truly President Tinubu is interested in ensuring that every Nigerian, regardless of economic status, has access to quality education as being painted by Mr Dele Alake, his administration must invest substantially in the sector.”
The union also lamented the students’ loan bill introduced by the Tinubu administration.
“To us, the student loan scheme is an attempt to turn students into life-long debtors in exchange for a service which ought to be provided for by the government.
“How many graduates are economically engaged years after graduation? It is only a few.
“So, it is callous to make fresh graduates debtors before they commence their careers.
“We’re very convinced that the students’ loan scheme is an effort in the wrong direction.
“The conditions attached to the loan are bogus and almost impossible to meet by any student.
“The policy appears on the paper as a loan for all, but in reality, it is for no one. So, we demand that the loan scheme should be abandoned and the funds be injected into the education sector.
“This government should not pull down completely Nigerian public education,” the student body added.