The President of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Comrade Sunday Asefon, has warned the government and Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), not to renege on the pact leading to the suspension of over nine months of industrial action in the universities.
He further expressed worry that ASUU, whose members are supposed to be socialists are turning capitalists. Saying it’s members no longer put their children in public schools and also not dedicated to duty.
Asefon who spoke on Thursday, in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital during a courtesy visit to the office of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Correspondents’ Chapel, Ekiti chapter said “The government and ASUU must honour their side of the agreement. We are particularly worried that ASUU, whose members are supposed to be socialists is turning capitalists. They no longer put their children in public schools and are also not dedicated to duty.
“ASUU should not consider another strike. A lot of students had died, some had taken into ICT fraud and won’t come back to schools. Are the government and ASUU not aware that 75 percent of those that participated in EndSARS protests were students? They constituted about 41 million population of Nigeria,” he said.“
The NANS President also described the 2021 budgetary provision for education under President Muhammadu Buhari, as the worst in the last decade in the country.
He said, “I condemn totally, the Federal Government’s 2021 budgetary provision to education. It was the worst in the last 10 years. The FG only apportioned 5.6 percent to the sector out of a total of N13.6 trillion budgetary provision.
“When you remove the percentage for basic education, what then becomes of the tertiary cadre? The percentage was ridiculous, low, and disappointing. This is one of the challenges we are facing in the education sector.”
Asefon assured students that the NANS under him would invest quality time to advocate for better funding of the education sector, saying the sector has been neglected, “because only the children of the poor attend public universities.”
He described as shocking, the kidnap of over 300 boarding students of the Government College, Kankara, Katsina State by gunmen, saying this had attested to the utter failure of governance in the country.
According to him, “I was shocked by this incident and I urge the Federal Government to do something urgent about this. When I was told that the Kankara students were kidnapped with motorbikes, I was not happy. It shows we don’t have security around our campuses. Our students were being bullied and harassed by bandits across the North, that we won’t tolerate.
“Nigeria is richly blessed. If you look at our budget, several billions of naira were being budgeted for the security sector. Despite this, we are not secured. With the way things are today, Nigeria is sitting on a keg of gunpowder.
“I think we can borrow a leave from Singapore. Singapore had a lot of challenges like ours in the past, but it overcame them with proper planning. Nigeria should take leave from this country.
“We are worried that our Education and Security have deteriorated due to government lapses. They have collapsed and Nigeria needs urgent overhauling.
“NANS under my headship will organise education and security summit, where we can address the deficiencies in these two sectors.”
Asefon said his leadership of NANS will tackle the malaise of sex for marks, unlawful rustication, and other forms of injustices on campuses.