ASUU Strike: National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) threatens to shut down private universities

Believing that the prolonged strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), which has paralysed studies in public universities in the country is being sustained because the children of influential people in the country are ensconced in the private universities, some members of the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) are already contemplating attack on the private universities as a way of compelling the federal government to take a more urgent action in resolving the stalemate between ASUU and the government.

The students, operating under the umbrella of the NANS also staged a peaceful protest in Ado-Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, to register their displeasure over federal government's alleged insincerity.

Speaking at the gathering Thursday, Mr. Steven Adara, a student leader in Ekiti State University (EKSU), noted that those in government and some prominent Nigerians were not helping the matter, as they were in the habit of sending their sons and daughters to private schools and overseas.

"We will mobilise ourselves and ensure that we disrupt academic activities in most of the private schools, because it is the sons and daughters of the affluent that are in these schools," he said.

Armed with placards with various inscriptions, the students flayed the federal government for its failure to honour the agreement it had with ASUU since 2009, saying agreements were expected to be honoured in good faith.

The students expressed their displeasure to what they described as a continuous recession in the standard of education since Dr . Goodluck Jonathan emerged as the president of the country.

Speaking on behalf of the students, Mr. Asefon Sunday, the Director of Action and Mobilisation, NANS, South -west pointed out that between 2000 and 2011 that the Nigerian government earned about N48.48 trillion from the sale of oil alone against N3.10 trillion earned between 1979 and 1999.

He added that the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) in 2012 financial year alone realised the sum of N5.12 trillion as revenue generated from tax paid by the masses.

"With this tremendous upswing in the revenue at the disposal of the federal government, one would have expected such to translate to commensurate improvement in the quality of Nigeria's public education as well as other social services.

He further condemned the inability of the federal government to budget a reasonable amount of money to education sector as recommended by UNESCO which is 26 percent of the country's total budget.

Asefon noted that some countries with smaller Gross Domestic Product (GDP) like Ghana, Cote d'Ivoire, Kenya, Morocco and Botswana had their budgetary allocations to education sector.

According to him, the allocation to education has been oscillating between 31 per cent, 20 per cent, 23 per cent, 17.7 per cent and 19 per cent, 8.5 per cent in recent years. .
The students equally urged the state universities like Ekiti State University (EKSU), Lagos State University (LASU), Osun State University,Olabisi Onabanjo University to slash their school fees immediately.


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