The National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, has challenged the federal government to make good use of recovered loot and channel it towards improving the nation’s educational sector.
Speaking in Abuja after its emergency meeting held in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital, NANS President, Chinonso Obasi, also wants lecturers to consult NANS before embarking on any strike in the future.
The student body also wants their interest protected in any negotiation between the federal government and members of ASUU.
NANS, according to the statement, demanded that the Federal Government should channel the money recovered by anti-corruption agencies to the education sector in Nigeria to address some of the burning issues.
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“The meeting which was summoned to deliberate on the ongoing strike declared by ASUU ended successfully with an overwhelming attendance of student union Presidents and NANS stakeholders throughout the country.
“NANS mandated its leaders to reach out to the Federal Government to find a lasting solution to the enormous challenges facing Nigerian students,” the statement said.
It added: “As critical stakeholders in the education sector, it is imperative that ASUU consults NANS. Anytime ASUU wants to embark on strike, it is proper for them to consult student leaders led by NANS.
“ASUU has been striking to use students as their bargaining power. The interest of students must be considered and prioritized at all times. Part of the resolution was that an appeal should be made to the Federal Government to channel the loots recovered from anti-graft agencies to the education sector.”
“The Senate also passed a vote of confidence on its President for his style of leadership that has regained the lost voice of Nigerian students both at home and in the diaspora.”
“It was also resolved that the National President of NANS should continue to constructively engage with the stakeholders comprising ASUU and the Federal Government to resolve the strike and find a lasting solution to the enormous challenges facing Nigerian students.”
“The meeting also called on the Federal Government to prioritise the education sector in Nigeria and push for the recommendation by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation that 26 per cent of the nation’s annual budget should be for funding the education sector and secure a better and sustainable educational standard.
“NANS however refused to shut down the country on account of government’s inability to resolve the ongoing strike, within 21 days, citing the prevailing economic downturn in the country.”
Recall that the strike action embarked upon by members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities is still ongoing after unsuccessful deliberations between the union and the federal government.
The action has paralyzed academic activities across several of the nation’s tertiary institutions.