THE National Association of Nigerian Students has decried the high cost of education in Nigeria, especially school fees charged by private institutions and called on the Federal Government to introduce subsidy in education sector.
The student body has also called on President Muhammadu Buhari to establish a special court, an Anti-Corruption Court, for the trial of those involved in corruption cases in the country.
NANS President, Comrade Chinonso Obasi, who made the call on Sunday in Abuja a thanksgiving to mark the end of the three-day prayer declared by the students for the quick recovery and return of President Buhari, held at the Faith Miracle International Church, Abuja.
He expressed gladness that God indeed answered the prayers of the over 40 million students by the safe return of the President on Friday, which was the second day into the national fasting and prayers.
Obasi, observed that the easiest way for government to permanently defeat insurgency and militancy in the country was to introduce subsidy in education sector so that more Nigerian youth could have access to quality education.
He said the Nigerians students were the most marginalised in the country giving the situation and circumstances in which many of them face difficult times trying to acquire education.
According to him, private schools charge outrageous school fees in addition to poor teaching and learning infrastructure in many of the institutions at both basic and tertiary levels.
He also noted that it was ironic that the Federal government claimed not to charge school fees in its institutions only for the individual institutions to introduce all manner of charges that far outweigh what would have been charged for a normal school fee.
He, therefore, said government should have some percentage of what it could pay to also help the Nigerian child to go to school while the rest are paid by the parents.
While noting that introducing subsidy in education would afford every Nigerian child the opportunity of being adequately educated, Obasi appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to consider such as one of his legacies.
“We, the Nigerian students are the most marginalised people in this country and so, President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has not shown any love to the Nigerian students.
“We are appealing to him to subsidise education. When you train a Nigerian child, you have trained a nation. He should not leave the responsibility of education the Nigerian child to the parents because if you don’t train us, in time to come, we will be more hazardous than Boko Haram terrorists, and more dangerous than the militants, “he said.
Obasi further said: “Let’s save the future by educating every Nigerian child. Government should subsidise education, they should have some percentage of what they pay to also help the Nigerian child to go to school.
“If people are not educated, they will act under ignorance. It is at this platform of ignorance that you may not even hold them liable because they had the opportunity of directing them on the right thing to do earlier.
“The right thing is educating a child so that he could know the difference between right and wrong, legal and illegal.
“Nobody wants war in his country but there will be war if people are not educated, people can be lobbied to do things just to survive.
“If a child does not have what it takes to go to school, if parents don’t have what it takes to go to school, the government must come in, to help the Nigerian child to go to school. ”
Obasi, who hailed the successes recorded by the president administration in its war against corruption so far, urged the president to think of establishing special courts on corruption issues.
He argued that the delay in prosecution of individuals involved in corruption cases was inimical to the ongoing anti-corruption war.
“The urgent appeal I’m making to Mr President and which was one of the reasons we were praying for him to come back is simply because of the anti-corruption war he is fighting.
“I will also appeal to Mr President that the Federal Government should also establish a special anti-corruption court.
“We are canvassing for this special anti-corruption court because of the delay in prosecuting corruption cases in conventional courts.
“Again, sometimes, even when there is glaring evidence, someone who would have been convicted will say he’s going on appeal. We cannot continue to go that way, the Federal Government should establish special courts that will look into cases of corrupt individuals and the time for that is now, “he insisted.
He also, asked Buhari to direct the anti-corruption agencies to beam their searchlights on tertiary institutions, saying there were cases of monumental corruption going on in the nation’s ivory towers.
“The president should urgently order the anti-corruption agencies to beam their searchlight on our tertiary institutions.
“On our part, we have done a lot of things at his back and any time early this week, I would be submitting some reports directly to him on the anti-corruption war we have been fighting at his back.
“We believe so much that he’s going to swing into action, “he added.